Tom yum pla recipe (hot and sour fish soup)


A comforting dish simply made with fish fillets and aromatic seasonings. It is a popular dish always served at any restaurants throughout Thailand.

Basically, tom yum is a soup often consisting of lemongrass stalks, makrut leaves and fresh chilies as the basic ingredients and seasoned to taste with fish sauce and lime juice. However, when making it with neua pla or fish fillets, Thais often add galangal and pungent vegetables like shallots, culantro leaves, colanders etc. to cover the fishy smell. The shallots also sweeten the soup.


  • 300 g fish fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2½ cup stock (or use an instant stock cube)
  • 5 thin slices of galangal
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths and crushed
  • 3-4 citrus leaves (use makrut lime leaves if available), midribs removed, torn into pieces
  • 4 thumb-size shallots, peeled and crushed gently
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili paste
  • 2½ tbsp plain fresh milk
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 5 fresh hot chilies (use bird’s eye chilies if available), crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped corianders


  1. Add the stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil over a high heat. Add the galangal, lemongrass stalks, citrus leaves and shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add the fish fillets, turn back to the boil and cook until fully cooked. Turn off heat.
  3. Season to taste with Thai chili paste, pain fresh milk, fish sauce, lime juice and fresh hot chilies.
  4. To serve, spoon the soup into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the chopped spring onion and chopped corianders.

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