With a freshly caught, succulent catfish and the help of a new friend, Luke learns how to make traditional tom yum soup.


Skill level

Average: 3.6 (31 votes)


  • 2 litres fish stock
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, bruised
  • 6 cm piece of galangal, finely sliced
  • 5 red shallots, peeled, bruised
  • 7 birds eye chilli, bruised
  • 400 g catfish fillets, cut into cubes (you could also use cod, sea bass, sole, snapper or halibut)
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 makrut lime leaves, torn
  • 5 tbsp lime juice
  • 6 sawtooth coriander leaves, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • coriander, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


In a large pot, add the stock, lemongrass, galangal and red shallots. Set heat to low-medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chilli. Simmer for a further 3 minutes. Add the fish, fish sauce and cherry tomatoes.

Increase heat to high and bring to the boil, skimming any impurities from the surface.

Add the makrut lime leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 6 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.

Add the lime juice, sawtooth coriander and spring onion. Stir well. Garnish with coriander to serve.