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Tom Yum (Thai Soup) Recipe

Tom Yum is often considered the national dish of Thailand. It is eaten everywhere by everyone. It is a staple meal in Thai culture, and is a firm favourite with tourists as well. Tom Yum is usually ordered with shrimp (Tom Yum Kung), but can also be made with other types of seafood, chicken, pork, or even tofu. The soup is a thin broth, and has a hot, sour flavour.

It is usually eaten with rice, and will often be accompanied by a variety of side dishes. One of the most popular side dishes ordered with Tom Yum Kung is Tod Num Kung (fried shrimp cakes), which can then be dipped into the soup and eaten.

Tom Yum shares almost all ingredients with Tom Kha Gai, another popular Thai soup dish, although unlike Tom Kha Gai, Tom Yum does not have coconut milk added to the soup to thicken it.

Herbs and spices added to the broth include chilli, fish sauce, galangal, kaffir lime and lemongrass, and each add to the distinctive Tom Yum flavour in their own way.

The real trick to making the best Tom Yum, is to use only the very freshest ingredients, and in the case of prawn or shrimp, this means as close to straight from the sea as possible! Local fish markets would be the best place to find these, so please do not be tempted to use pre-frozen supermarket produce, the prawns need to be very fresh to get the desired taste for the soup.

There are two slight variants to Tom Yum, the first of these being Tom Yum Nam Khon. In this version, milk is added to the soup to make it taste creamier. The second different version is Tom Klong, where Thai chilli jam is added to the broth, this produces an orange coloured soup with a much stronger chilli taste.

There is a different version of Tom Yum made in Laos, and is often named Royal Laos Tom Yum. The only difference between them is that in the Laos version a small quantity of rice is added to the soup whilst it cooks.

Overall, Tom Yum is one of the tastiest Thai dishes around, as well as one of the easiest to cook. The ingredients are simple to prepare, and as long as they are used in the right quantities, perfect results should be achieved every time.

You can order everything you need to cook Thailand's national dish at home on our 1-click recipe page.


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