Tom Yum Goong (Prawn Tom Yum)

Thot Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)
April 17, 2007
Braised ‘Nam Yue’ Pork Neck
April 23, 2007

This morning was perfect for my Tom Yum adventure in my kitchen. Sis took Mom to the Sungai Buloh plant nursery, hubby at work, daughter in playschool and I was in my darling kitchen enjoying my private time making Tom Yum Goong.

Pure satisfaction! No interruptions, no phone calls, no renovation next door, just blissfully doing my stuffs. Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoy family and friends but sometimes, time set aside just for myself is also very important for my self rejuvenation.

My pot of Tom Yum has my undivided attention and turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. I have made Tom Yum many times but this time turned out perfect with some help from a ‘little packet of treasure from Phuket’. I always believe the end product always reflects on the mood of the person cooking at that time.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 coconut santan (1st press coconut milk)

1 packet of ready-made tom yum paste equipped with dried spices (bought from Phuket), contains the below:

  • dried kaffir lime leaves
  • dried lemongrass
  • 3 dried Thai chilies
  • dried gallangal
  • a small packet of msg, sugar and chili flakes (which I omitted by choice)
  • 200gm tom yum paste

Fresh Spices

  • 3 stalks fresh lemongrass (cut into 2 pieces each)
  • 12 fresh kaffir lime leaves (pluck leaves only, stalks discarded)
  • 5  small red Thai chilis (slit and seeded)
  • 1 bulb root of gallangal (sliced thickly)
  • 2 stalks of coriander leaves (pluck leaves for garnishing and stalks tied together for stock)

1 small teacup of Thai fish sauce (depends on ones taste)
2 Tbsp brown sugar or molasses
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste (for the chili oil effect, must have!)


  • 200 gm white oyster mushrooms (washed, stems removed)
  • 1 can straw mushrooms (drained and cut into half lengthwise)
  • 3 fresh ripe red tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 can baby corn (halved lenght wise)

600 gm large sea prawns (shelled, de-veined, tail intact)
200 gm fresh scallops
lots of fresh juicy lime


  1. Heat a clay pot with olive oil and stir in the tom yum paste.
  2. Add the coconut milk and stir.
  3. Slowly pour in 1 litre of hot water and bring to bubbly boil.
  4. Empty the packet of dried spices from the ‘little packet of treasures from Phuket’. Leave it to simmer for 20 minutes before adding the fresh spices and the red curry paste. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
  5. Add fish sauce, sugar and sea salt. Add another litre of hot water and simmer for another 30 minutes, covered.
  6. Strain the stock or just ladle out all the spices, leaving behind the chilies, a few pieces of gallangal, a few lemongrass stalk and 2 or 3 kaffir lime leaves. Add all the fresh vegetables into the tom yum stock and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Just when tom yum is about to be served, bring soup to boil and add in the prawns followed by the scallops. This will take only about 20 seconds, so that the seafood will not over-cook.
  8. Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish with coriander leaves and squeeze lime juice into the soup. I like it with juice of 2 lime in my bowl.

Note : Do not squeeze lime juice and boil, the sourness will then evaporate. Only squeeze the lime juice over the soup to enjoy its zest!

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