Thai Food Recipe: Tom Yum Gai Tom Yum

Tom Yum Gai (Spicy Sour Chicken Soup)

Tom Yum Gai Tom Yum – Spicy Thai Chicken Soup



1/2 pound chicken breast
1 cup straw mushrooms
1 cup water
1 lemon grass (cut 2 inches)
4-6 kaffir lime leaves
3 small red onions cut into quarters
2 medium to large tomato
2 pieces galangal
2 tbsp. fish sauce
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sugar (optional)
2-8 red and/or green chili peppers
1 tbsp. tom yum soup paste
1/2 cup celery (cut 1 inch)
1/4 cup coriander (cut 1 inch)


Cooking Instructions:

1. Boil 1 cup of water. In boiling water, put peppers, galangal, lemongrass and salt.

2. Put chicken in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add mushroom chili paste and cook it for 5 minutes. Then, put tomato, onion, fish sauce and boil for another 2 minutes. Turn off the fire.

4. Put Chinese celery, kaffir lime leaves and coriander.

For presentation you can garnish with coriander and red chili pepper. Thai people usually eat this with a bowl of rice. They take a spoonful of soup and mix it with their rice or a spoon of rice and dip it into their TOM YUM soup. There are many kinds of Tom Yum Soup – just exchange shrimp, squid, or even pork for the chicken. Enjoy, this is one of Thailand’s favorite dishes.


Note by Vern

Of all the Thai dishes available, you have probably at least tasted tom yum soup – probably with shrimp in it. I first had it around twenty years ago and my mind was opened to the amazing tastes of Thailand in a little restaurant in Clearwater, Florida. When we go to restaurants in Thailand we get the choice to have the thick red soup, or the naam sai – the clear broth. We almost always get the traditional clear broth variety. I can’t even remember the name of the thick orange one. I love it too – but, when I’m paying for it, I guess I want the ultimate – the clear broth tom yum!

Types of Tom Yum Soup:

  • tom yum gai (chicken)
  • tom yum talay (seafood)
  • tom yum goong (shrimp)
  • tom yum moo (pork)
  • tom yum hed (mushroom)
  • vegetarian tom yum – thick with mushrooms, tomatoes, maybe something else

Keep in mind, this is Vern writing this, so I’m sure I’ve missed some. These are the ones I typically see at restaurants and at our home. Grandma likes to make the vegetarian tom yum as she doesn’t eat chicken or beef and maybe not shrimp either.

Tom yum, when it is made correctly is not a completely overpowering taste. You can taste the galangal, the lemongrass, the shrimp. It has salt, but not over salty. The ingredients you cannot eat – are ground up very finely (except the galangal) and usually it sinks to the bottom of the bowl so you don’t get it in your spoon as you eat. The shrimp in Thailand have the tails left on them for some reason. This is a pain because you can either wrestle with removing it from the tail with your fork and spoon, or grab it with your thumb and forefinger and pull with your fork. It’s messy.

Tom yum is really a favorite in Thailand, and every time I’m at a restaurant I see someone eating something with tom yum flavor. There are noodles and other dishes that are made with tom yum seasoning.

Come to Thailand and see what Thai food is really all about!

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food Recipe: Tom Yum Moo (Pork) Isaan Style

Tom Yum Pork, Isaan Style, Tom Sab Moo


1 cup pork, Choose soft bone and the rib about 600 g.
2 tbsp. sliced young galingale
1 group lemongrass (sliced 1 inch)
3 tbsp. cut red onion
5 kaffir lime leaves
5 crushed coriander roots
2 pickled garlic (sweet)
3 crystal sugar
7 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. minced chicken breast
6 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. dried chili powder
3 tbsp. roasted and finely crushed uncooked rice
1/4 cup sliced scallion
1/4 cup sliced parsley
1/4 cup sweet basil


Cooking Instructions:

1. Clean the pork very well. Cut it to the bite size.

2. Add water to 1/2 of the pot. Boil the pork on medium heat until it’s boiling. After that use low heat and cook the pork for 1 hour or until the pork rib get soft.

3. While you are cooking the pork, in a different stove, use low fire to heat the pan. When the pan is hot, throw galingale, lemongrass, red onion, kaffir lime leaves and coriander root and roast.

4. Remove them from the pan when it has aromatic smell and crush them altogether.

How to make roasted and finely crushed uncooked rice is also the same. We just throw handful of uncooked rice into the hot pan and keep stirring. Wait until it gets yellow then remove and crush it with mortar.

5. Now get back to the boiling pot. Add the roasted and crushed galingale, lemongrass, red onion, kaffir lime leaves and coriander root and mix well.

6. Add pickle garlic (sweet), crystal sugar, salt, fish sauce and mix it very well.

7. Then, take 1/2 cup stock from boiling pot. Mix minced chicken into that stock and pour it back to the pot. Turn off the fire.

8. Add dried chili powder, roasted and crushed uncooked rice, scallion, coriander and sweet basil.


When you are ready to serve, add lemon juice in to the bowl. This way the heat will not destroy the taste and nice smell of the lemon.

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food E-Books!

Sawasdee Ka!

Revising Joy’s Ebooks now – ready in a few weeks!

If you don’t know what an e-book is, it’s simply a Word file with photos and nice formatting converted into an Adobe PDF format that you can read on your computer, PDA, phone, or maybe even your watch. It makes the files easy to read on electronic readers too – you may have heard about Microsoft’s and Amazon’s new readers. They are e-book readers designed specially for reading e-books.

We are giving away a sample PDF file of the first 11 pages of Joy’s Thai Food Recipe eBook below.

Joy’s Thai Food Recipe E-book Sample, 11 pages, fully illustrated, fully FREE! This is to give you an idea what you’re getting.

Please check back in a few weeks to see if we’re offering Joy’s latest two updated Thai Food Ebooks at that time!

Thank you!

Sawasdee ka, joy