Tom Yum Recipe (Hot and Sour Thai Soup)


I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

Sweet, sour, and spicy tom yum soup is ideally served with steamed white rice.

Sweet, sour, and spicy tom yum soup is ideally served with steamed white rice.

What Is Tom Yum?

Tom yum, sometimes spelled tom yam, is a type of hot and sour Thai soup, usually cooked with a variety of vegetables and proteins. Tom yum originally came from Thailand, but it's also famous in Malaysia, where you will find it served at many restaurants and food stalls.

Tom Yum Paste

For as long as I can remember, my sister always made a delicious tom yum whenever we gathered for lunch at our parents' house. Last weekend, after coming across some tom yum paste at an Asian market, I decided to cook this dish at home. The paste is made from lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, coriander, onion, tomato, sugar, and salt. The paste is important as it is an essential ingredient for making this dish. However, if you want to make it from scratch you can find the ingredients at the Asian market near you.

If you love spicy, sweet, and sour food, this dish is for you!


  • 1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 5-6 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4-5 tablespoons tom yum paste
  • 1 cup cabbage, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced, any kind will do
  • 1 can young corn
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • 5 cups water


  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine the tom yum paste and water. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Transfer the pot to a stove over medium heat.
  3. Bring the water to boil.
  4. Combine the chicken and shrimp into the pot.
  5. After 5 minutes, combine the cabbage, bell pepper, mushroom, young corn, and onions.
  6. Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add the salt. Mix well.
  8. Before turning off the heat, squeeze lime for its juice into the soup.
  9. Place the soup into a serving bowl.
  10. Enjoy it as a soup or serve with steamed white rice.

© 2020 Liza


Liza (author) from USA on July 03, 2020:

You're welcome, Peggy. I think hot and sour soup is perfect dish during cold weather. Thank you for the pinning! Happy 4th to you and your family!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 03, 2020:

We love eating hot and sour soup when we are dining in Oriental restaurants. I am very happy to have your recipe. Thanks! Pinning it to my soups board.

Liza (author) from USA on May 14, 2020:

You're welcome, Donna. I hope you're going to like it! Thank you for commenting :)

Donna Rayne from Greenwood, Indiana on May 14, 2020:

Liza, I would love to try this soup, it sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

Have a blessed day,

Donna Rayne

Liza (author) from USA on May 13, 2020:

I think you going to like it! Thank you for commenting, Nella :)

Nella DiCarlo from Guelph, Ontario on May 13, 2020:

Looks delicious ! Would definitely like to try making it sometime .

Liza (author) from USA on May 13, 2020:

Tom yum is my choice if I went to a Thai restaurant here in the states. I'm happy because I can make this dish at home. Thank you for your comment, Liz

Liza (author) from USA on May 13, 2020:

Yes, of course, you can. Just omit the chicken and the shrimp. You can add tofu if you like too. Thanks for stopping by Imogen French.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 13, 2020:

This sounds like a tasty dish. I really appreciate the photo tutorial.

Imogen French from Southwest England on May 13, 2020:

Can you make a vegetarian version of this? The flavours sound great, but I'd need some sort of vegetable protein in place of the chicken and fish.

Liza (author) from USA on May 12, 2020:

Haha. That's funny Kyle. Yes, this tom yum soup is absolutely delicious.

Kyler J Falk from California on May 12, 2020:

As I scrolled by this I saw fingers, eyeballs, and blood, hahahaha! Made me do a double take, then I cracked up.

Looks absolutely delicious!

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