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Tom Yum Soup

A Guide to Tom Yum Soup

One thing we can all agree on is that street food always hits the spot, and Asian street food might just be the best there is. Many classics include Wonton Soup, Thai crispy noodlesPad Thai and Tom Yum Soup.

Amongst the many contenders for great street grub, Tom Yum Soup stands apart. The beauty of this classic Thai dish is its simplicity and flavor. 

What you’ll need

 If you would like to try your hands at making this culinary masterpiece, you will need certain ingredients, some of which are difficult to obtain. If you are successful in getting them and making this soup, it will be worth it.

Some of the main ingredients for making Tom Yum soup are staples of Thai food:

10-12 shrimps

3 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

6 red chilies, pounded

3 slices galangal

6 Kaffir lime leaves 

2 tablespoons Nam Prik Pao, Thai roasted chili paste

2 tablespoons Nam Prik Pao oil

3 teaspoons fish sauce

1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3-inch strips

6 mushrooms

If some of the items in this list sound foreign to you, you are not alone. If you are a mild Thai food aficionado, you might not need an introduction to lemongrass. The long aromatic grass is used in many Thai favorites from Banh Mi to Pho. 

Kaffir lime leaves are the leaves of the Kaffir lime tree, which is a variety of citrus fruit with a characteristic flavor and aroma. Nam Prik Pao is a paste generally made with ground roasted red chilis and garlic, you can get it canned or bottled. 

Fish sauce is a popular condiment, and it’s made from the fermentation of salted fish. Its savory and sweet profiles have made it a favorite, in numerous dishes beyond Asian cuisine. Galangal is a root with a similar profile in shape and flavor to ginger. 

It can be challenging to source some of these ingredients, but rest assured, most can be found in major urban cities. 

How to Prepare

If you want a really flavorful soup, you can cook the shrimp heads in 2 1/2 cups of water and get shrimp stock. Strain the shrimp heads, add all the ingredients except the shrimp, the fish sauce, and the lemon juice, and bring to a boil.

Decrease the heat then add the shrimp and fish sauce until cooked. Drizzle the juice at the end and voila from the streets of Bangkok to your kitchen. If you want to have the Nam Khon version of the dish, add 3 tablespoons of evaporated milk for a richer experience.


If you’re looking for authentic Tom Yum soup in Edmonton, give us at Rice Bowl Deluxe a call. We have a fantastic menu of authentically-made dishes from all over Asia, brought right here to Canada. We know you will love Tom Yum, so stop by! Our chefs are waiting to serve you their unique variant of this Thai classic, and give you tips on how to make it yourself. Just sit back, unwind and enjoy!

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