Tom Yum Goong

Updated: Mar 8


Tom Yum is a timeless classic when it comes to Thai soups. What takes Tom Yum to another level is a freshly made Nam Prik Pao (Thai chilli paste) and the use of prawn heads and shells to form as a base for the soup. Super nutritious, delicious and extremely moorish lets make Tom Yum Goong!

Cook Time: 40 mins / Total prep time 45-60 mins

To serve 4-5


Broth and shrimp:

12-15 whole tiger prawns

3 lemongrass

3 shallots

5 garlic cloves

6 kafir lime leaves

25g galangal or ginger

3-5 birdeye chillies

2ltr water

Nam Prik Pao:

25-30 dried red chillies

4 shallots

6 garlic cloves

1 tsp shrimp paste

2-3 tbsp tamarind concentrate

2-3 tbsp palm sugar

50ml oil for frying


Additional Ingredients:

6-8 limes

fish sauce to season

100ml evaporated milk

oyster mushrooms

small chestnut mushrooms


glass noodles (optional)


Nam Prik Pao:

  1. Let's start off by making the Nam Prik Pao, alternatively you could just buy this, however, making your own is a game changer. Start by removing the seeds from a generous 25-30 dried red chillies then use a pair of scissors to cut up the dried red chillies into smaller pieces. When ready add the dried red chillies to a dry pan and toast until slightly darker in colour and fragrant. When toasted set the dried chillies to one side as we will pulse these later. Next roughly chop and peel 6 garlic cloves and 4 small shallots. Add the shallots and garlic also to a dry pan and roast until fragrant.

2. Next add the toasted chillies, garlic and shallots to a food processor along with 1 tsp of shrimp paste, 2-3 tbsp of tamarind concentrate, 2-3 tbsp of shaved palm sugar and a pinch of salt. Pulse for 2-3 minutes until a rough paste is made. If the paste becomes too dry then add a touch of cooking oil to loosen.

3. When the paste is ready add a generous amount of cooking oil to a pan then place onto a medium heat. Add the paste then mix well to coat in the cooking oil. Slowly cook the paste for 10-20 minutes or until the paste becomes slightly jammy and aromatic. When ready adjust the seasoning if needed then store the Nam Prik Pao in a container and we will add some of this to the soup towards the very end.


4. Now to move onto preparing the tiger prawns, we want to keep at least half of the shrimp heads and shells as these will form the base to the broth. Start by removing some of the heads and outer shells from the shrimp then place the shells separately for now. When ready lightly score down the back of the shrimp and remove the tract then set both the peeled shrimp and shells separately to one side for now.


5. Just before we begin to move onto making the broth there are a few other key aromatics to prepare before we begin. Start by roughly slicing approximately 25g of galangal, peel 5 garlic cloves, roughly chop 3 shallots, bruise and roughly chop 3 lemongrass stalks, slice a few birdseye chillies into half and tare 6 kafir lime leaves. When ready we can now start to make the base of the broth.

6. To start the broth add a small drizzle of oil into a large saucepan then add the shrimp heads and shells. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the shells and heads are cooked and start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Next add the sliced lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chillies, galangal and kafir lime leaves and continue to stirfry for a further 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.

7. To finish the base of the broth, now add approximately 2.5 litres of water to the shells and arromatics then bring the liquid up to a boil. Remove any foam that may rise to the top of the broth then when boiling turn the heat down to a simmer. Allow the broth to slowly simmer for 25-30 minutes.