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thai shrimp soup in a white bowl
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5 from 2 votes

Tom Yum Goong

Perhaps one of the most famous soups to come out of Thailand Tom Yum Goong is a spicy shrimp soup that is super fragrant from lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. This version can be made with a clear broth or with coconut milk for a more rich, creamy soup.
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Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: easy Thai recipe, easy Thai soup, gluten free, shrimp recipe, spicy shrimp soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 179kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00


  • Rolling Pin or Meat Tenderizer
  • Dutch oven, wok or saucepan


  • 4 cloves Shallots
  • 2 stalks Lemongrass, bottom quarter of stalks only
  • 1 3-inch piece Galangal, sliced into rounds
  • 8 Makrut / Thai Lime Leaves
  • 1-4 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilis, to taste
  • 5 cups Stock (use homemade shrimp stock following directions below or sub chicken stock)
  • 4 oz Oyster Mushrooms (sub any type of mushroom)
  • 1/4 cup Thai Chili Paste (nam prik pao)
  • 12 medium Shrimp (see note)
  • 3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Milk (optional - only if you want a creamy soup)
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • Cilantro leaves, for topping
  • Cooked Jasmine Rice, for serving (optional)


  • Place shallots, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, and Bird’s Eye Chilis in a plastic bag and seal the top. Use a rolling pin or meat tenderizer to pound each of these ingredients just until they have broken open slightly. They do not need to be smashed into a paste, but breaking them open will help them to release more flavor. (Note: You can also just place them on a cutting board and skip the bag, but I find this keeps the process fast and minimizes mess.)
  • Heat a large Dutch oven, saucepan, or wok over medium heat. Add all of the smashed aromatics to the heated pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Pour stock over aromatics and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and Thai chili paste and continue cooking until mushrooms are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in shrimp, fish sauce, and coconut milk (if using). Simmer just until shrimp is cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on size.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in lime juice. Taste and adjust if needed, adding more fish sauce for salty flavor and / or more lime juice for more sour flavor.
  • Top soup with cilantro leaves and serve with Jasmine rice on the side.
  • Note: The aromatics in Tom Yum Goong (shallots, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, and Bird’s Eye Chilis) are not meant to be eaten which is why you want to keep them in larger pieces so they are easy to spot. I like to leave them in the soup when I serve it because they add so much fragrance. If serving this to guests, be sure to mention that they are not meant to be consumed.


Shrimp and Stock - For the best and most authentic flavor buy shrimp with heads and peels intact. Remove the heads and peels and combine with 6 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out and discard solids and measure out 5 cups of stock to use in the recipe above. 
Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao) - Use store-bought or homemade Nam Prik Pao.


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 2391mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 688IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg