Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro
4 servings

Galangal, a root similar to ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and fish sauce give this soup authentic flavor. Substitute ginger if you can't find galangal, and use 3 (2-inch) lime rind strips in place of the leaves. Reserve the shrimp shells; you'll need them to make the broth. Serve with rice noodles, if desired.

How to Make It

Peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Combine shrimp shells and 6 cups water in a Dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 hour. Strain broth through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Combine broth and remaining 3 1/2 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves to pan; simmer 10 minutes. Strain broth mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Return broth mixture to pan. Add mushrooms, chili paste, fish sauce, and chiles; bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp, green onions, and cilantro; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Discard chiles. Stir in fresh lime juice. Ladle 2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; sprinkle evenly with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

Ratings & Reviews

Don't waste your time or ingredients.

February 22, 2016
This is a thin echo of real Tom Sum. There's far too much liquid for the ingredients, and the result is a soup that tastes like thin lemonade made with dishwater. The "shells" from a pound and a half of shrimp aren't sufficient to flavor adequately two cups of broth, much less six. And then the recipe calls for more water. What a mess. You'll need the shrimp heads--and a lot more chiles--for this recipe to have a chance at working.

Keiko123's Review

January 13, 2015
So fresh tasting and smells yummy-the only thing I "had" to change was the shrimp-we had none and were too cranky to go to the store! Subbed in rice noodles from our local asian market we already had on hand.

keaobbunma's Review

April 20, 2014

TiffyR's Review

March 03, 2013
This is so delicious - better than some Thai restaurants' versions. I did not vary the ingredients at all except for leaving out the peanuts - I've never seen TYG served with them. Will make again and again.

veryslowcook's Review

February 12, 2011
Outstanding! Great flavors & low cal. The stock takes time but the recipe is simple. Used ginger instead of galangal. Couldn't find roasted red chili paste, so I used 1T red curry paste instead. I may start making the stock ahead of time & freezing it for a quick dinner later.

Amandafisher's Review

January 21, 2011
This is delicious soup and it’s really easy to cook. It takes just 15 min to prepare. The problem is not cooking – the problem is to get all these South-Asian ingredients. It’s rather difficult to find true tom yum paste, galangal or lemongrass in local store. I offer to take a look on thai online shops. They send fresh ingredients from Thailand worldwide. Check this

silvers659's Review

February 26, 2010
Fantastic! Ever since my favorite Thai restaurant closed, I've been craving this soup, and this recipe is spot-on. Minor modifications - I used raw frozen shrimp this time - a 2 lb bag with 1/4 of it for the broth. I also added 2 tbsp of Tom Yum paste just to boost the flavors a bit, though that probably wasn't necessary, and much more lime as I love the fresh taste. I didn't want noodles, so I doubled the mushrooms to give it more substance. The flavors do take a while to fully develop. I was a little disappointed when I first tasted it because I could taste all the individual components but overall it didn't zing. By the end of the bowl it was perfect, and now on Day 2 I couldn't be happier. If you don't have the ingredients locally, check or other online sellers. I found a Thai produce kit that had enough kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, Thai chiles, and fresh limes for two batches of soup for $14. It's worth it to get the right taste. Epic yummy!

cookinla's Review

May 16, 2009
I think this is fantastic. I made it once with ginger and lime and the 2nd time with galangal and kaffir leaves (after finding a Chinese grocery store, the general markets don't have these items), both were delicious. Great flavor in the broth and I made mine really spicy. I served once over rice stick noodles and once over glass noodles. I personally prefer glass noodles. I can't comment on authenticity or compare to what this soup is "supposed" to taste like, but as it is here it's delicious.