This soup has always been a winner in my household. Unlike so many Western broths, it bursts with flavour, and any Thai will tell you that a good Tom Yum Goong must have 3 or 4 distinct flavours, depending on whether you make it clear or creamy; both types must be sour, sweet, and salty, with the addition of creamy (unsurprisingly) for the creamy version. I personally love both styles, and like to mix it up depending on my mood.

This recipe is so great because with the addition of only 1 ingredient (coconut cream) you can create an entirely different tasting dish. It is delicious stand-alone, but if you want to go all out for yourself, a loved one, or wish to impress your friends, it is the perfect starter to serve before my (Traditional Thai Red or Green Chicken Curry) or (Traditional Pad Thai). Thai cooking is amazingly fast and straightforward considering the flavours it produces, so is a great go-to if you want to make something beautiful in a hurry.


Traditional Thai Soup with Prawns (Tom Yum Goong)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 1 person
  • 5 medium sized prawns
  • 60g mushrooms (any variety)
  • ¼ of a tomato (no more otherwise the tomato flavour will overpower)
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass (use only lower halves of stems with the bulb for more flavour)
  • 1 tbsp galangal
  • 1 tbsp shallots
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (only add at the end or will turn brown from overcooking)
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies (personal taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce (personal taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp white sugar (personal taste)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 small bunch Thai parsley (or coriander)
For clear soup only:
  • 2 cups chicken/fish stock (or water)
  • 1 tsp chilli jam
For creamy soup only:
  • 6 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp chilli jam
  1. Clean & wash the prawns.
  2. Slice the lemongrass, galangal and mushrooms into circular discs.
  3. Chop the peeled shallots & garlic, tomato and chillies.
  4. Add the lemongrass, galangal, shallots, garlic and chillies.
  5. (For clear soup only: Add 2 cups stock/water).
  6. (For creamy soup only: Add 1 cup water).
  7. Cook the liquid over a high heat until boiling.
  8. Once boiling, add the kaffir lime leaves and chilli jam (quantity dependent on clear/creamy soup) & stir.
  9. Add the tomato and mushrooms.
  10. (For creamy soup only: Add half (3 tbsp) of coconut cream).
  11. Add the mushrooms and tomato.
  12. Add the lime juice, fish sauce & sugar.
  13. Taste the soup to check for all ¾ flavours; add lime juice for sourness, sugar for sweetness, fish sauce for saltiness & coconut cream for creaminess.
  14. Add the prawns and gently turn them over when they begin to curl (do NOT stir as this will break the fish).
  15. Once the prawns are pink on both sides, turn off the heat.
  16. Add the Thai parsley/coriander.
  17. (For creamy soup only: Add the remaining half (3 tbsp) of coconut cream).
  18. Enjoy!