What goes in Tom Yum Soup
There’s 2 parts to Tom Yum Soup:
- Making the soup broth; and
- The stuff that goes in the broth.
Firstly, the broth. In addition to items shown below, you also need the head and shell of the peeled prawns/shrimp (see image below). If you can’t get whole prawns, don’t worry – in the recipe notes, there’s directions for making this with frozen pre-peeled prawns!
Key to this soup broth are all the fragrant fresh herbs and spices you see below. The kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, chilli and garlic. They impart such beautiful flavour into the soup!
And here’s the stuff IN the soup.
I live in the upper northern beaches of Sydney, which is a beautiful part of the world but is sadly in Asian food and produce. But even I can get my hands on all the ingredients for this recipe from my grocery and fresh produce stores!!
How to make Tom Yum Soup
The ingredient gathering is the hardest part of this recipe, being that the aromatics aren’t pantry staples and depending how well stocked your grocery store is, might require a trip to an Asian store.
The making part is very straight forward, calling for not much more than plonking and simmering, straining, more plonking then simmering again. EASY!
See? A lot of plonk and simmer above to make the broth.
And more plonk and simmer below when you add the “stuff” into the soup.
That’s how you make the clear version of Tom Yum Soup which I find is the one more commonly served at Thai restaurants in Sydney.
The broth looks deceptively simple – clear and unassuming. But wait until you try it! It’s got terrific complexity of flavour from the prawn/shrimp shells – basically it’s a homemade prawn stock with a ton of aromatics added!!
How to make CREAMY Tom Yum Soup
For the creamy version, you simply take the clear one, add a good dollop of Thai Chilli paste then a splash of evaporated milk.
I think that people assume that the creamy version is made with coconut milk, being an ingredient associated with Thai cooking. But it’s not, it’s evaporated milk.
But coconut milk is also amazing – in fact, that changes Tom Yum into Tom Kha soup and some people who sampled this preferred that the best!