Tom yum gai soup recipe


Winter is coming. Sipping a spicy tom yum gai soup served while still warm is a good idea in helping us combat with the cold weather surrounded.

Chicken or เนื้อไก่ (Neụ̄̂x kị̀) in Thai is also a good choice in making this world-class spicy soup. Lime juice is added to obtain the unique sour. Lemongrass stalks and makrut lime leaves provide the excellent fragrance. And never forget the hot flavour from the crushed fresh chili peppers. These to ensure the finished soup with the classic-authentic Thai tom yum flavour.

This coloured tom yum soup is quite excellent. Thai chili paste and plain fresh milk are additional ingredients added, giving the soup reddish white in colour and enhancing the flavour. It is very yummy to try. The Thais generally call it ต้มยำน้ำข้น (T̂myả n̂ả k̄ĥn).


  • 350 g chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 2½ cups stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 thin galangal slices
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths and then crushed
  • 3 citrus leave (use makrut lime leaves if available), removed the midribs and then torn into large pieces
  • 5 fresh small chilies (use bird’s eye chilies if available), crushed
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili paste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp plain fresh milk (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice
  • Chopped coriander and chopped spring onion, for garnishing

Preparation method

  1. Combine stock and salt in a saucepan and then bring to a boil over a high heat. Once it is ready, add galangal, lemongrass stalks, citrus leaves and chilies and then cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add chicken and then bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully done and tender.
  3. Stir in Thai chili paste and then cook briefly or until completely dissolved. Turn off heat.
  4. Stir in plain fresh milk and then season to taste with fish sauce and lime juice.
  5. Spoon into a serving bowl. Sprinkle over the soup with chopped coriander and spring onion as garnish.

Adding some straw mushrooms, halved lengthwise into this tom yum soup is also very popular in Thailand. Just reduce a little amount of the chicken and replace with these. Since it seems challenging to find ones outside Thailand, the other kinds of small button mushrooms are good substitutes.


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