Articles & Recipes

Lemon Grass-Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Goong)

October 12, 2018

Quick and easy, this soup depends on its aromatics for its ethereal allure. The barely poached (definitely undercooked) shrimps, however, are what make it a treat!

Ingredients Makes 4 servings

4 cups water 1 L
1 stick lemon grass 1
4 lime leaves (or 2 tbsp/25 mL lime juice) 4
1 inch galangal root (or ginger root) 2.5 cm
2 fresh hot chilies 2
3 tbsp fish sauce 45 mL
1 tsp sugar 5 mL
11⁄2 tsp chili paste 7 mL
2 oz button mushrooms, quartered 60 g
16 large shrimps, shelled and deveined (10 oz/300 g) 16
3 tbsp lime juice 45 mL
Fresh coriander leaves


  1. Heat 4 cups/1 L water in a soup pot to boiling.
  2. Smash the lemon grass with the flat of a chef’s knife once, and then cut into 1-inch/2.5-cm pieces; tear the lime leaves into thirds; and slice the galangal into thin rounds. Reserve all three of these ingredients together.
  3. Crush the fresh chilies and cut in half. Reserve separately.
  4. When the water has boiled, add the reserved lemon grass/ galangal/lime leaves and reserved fresh chilies. Boil for 1 minute. Add fish sauce, sugar and chili paste. Boil for another 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and boil for 2 minutes. Add shrimps and lime juice (3 tbsp/45 mL plus the other 2 tbsp/25 mL if you haven’t used the lime leaves) and lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes, just until the shrimps have turned white and springy. Transfer to a soup tureen, decorate with fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately.


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