Thai Tom Yum Soup With Coconut Milk (Tom Khaa) Recipe

Tom Yam Soup with Shrimps.
Michael Rheault Getty
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2-3
Ratings (24)

Try this delicious version of Thai tom yum soup made with coconut milk (tom khaa). The coconut milk gives it a little more thickness and flavor while still keeping it healthy. It's an easy recipe, and quick to cook up, but tastes like Thai restaurant quality.

See these step-by-step photo instructions for making easy tom yum soup recipe, and read about the potential health benefits of tom yum soup, below. 

What You'll Need

  • 4 to 6 cups good-tasting chicken stock
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 red chiles, finely sliced, or substitute 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed chile
  • Generous handful fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
  • 1 to 2 cups broccoli florets (or other greens of your choice)
  • Handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional

How to Make It

  1. Place stock into a deep cooking pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the lemongrass and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor.
  3. Add lime leaves, garlic, chile, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot.
  1. Test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt, or more chiles as desired. If too sour, add 1/2 teaspoon sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you'd like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
  2. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. For an extra hit of flavor, you also can add some Thai chili sauce, either store-bought or the homemade version: nam prik pao chili sauce recipe.

Note: Depending on which Thai chef is cooking, evaporated milk may be added instead of coconut milk (this is often the case in Thailand). Traditional tom yum is made with either evaporated milk, or without any milk whatsoever, as in this traditional tom yum soup recipe.

Variations

There are as many variations of Tom Yum soup as there are Thai chefs. Here are some popular versions:

Health Benefits of Tom Yum Soup

Soup to boost your immune system? That's right! Thai tom yum soup currently is under study for its ability to fight off cold and flu viruses, and perhaps even cancer.