Tom yum goong is a Thai prawn soup with a kick of chilli and fragrant lemongrass, galangal and coriander. Add a good squeeze of lime for that trademark sour taste.






Skill level

Average: 4.6 (4 votes)


  • 400 g medium raw prawns, shelled, intestinal tract removed, shells reserved
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, bruised
  • 2 cm piece galangal (or ginger), sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1 coriander plant, washed well
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 5-cm lengths
  • 100 g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp nam prik pao (chilli paste in soybean oil)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juice to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar

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.


  1. Place the reserved prawn shells in a large saucepan and cover with about 2 litres water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain, discard the shells and return the stock to the pan.  
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer. Add the lemongrass, galangal, garlic, coriander roots and stalks (reserve the leaves for later) and the lime leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chilli, carrot, spring onion (white part only), mushrooms, tomatoes and the chilli paste. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the prawns in half lengthways. Add the prawns and green spring onion ends to the broth and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the prawns are just cooked through. Season with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved coriander leaves.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.