Tom Yam Kung

cooking tips you can trust


Tom Yam Kung


If you can purchase them, substitute small prawns (with claws) for the shrimp. They are generally more flavorful.

Heads attached

Try to purchase the crustaceans with their heads still attached. Boil the flavor-giving heads along with the shells in step 3.

Nam pla

The best of the widely available substitutes for nam pla is patis, a Philippine fish sauce.

Lemon grass

There is no recommendable substitute for lemon grass. Some recipes call for lemon or lime juice, but without the unique flavor of lemon grass, the soup substantially changes character.

Handling chilies

Do not touch your eyes when you are slicing the chilies. As soon as you complete the cutting task, thoroughly wash your hands and the work surface.

Don't overcook

Shrimp cook quickly. Remember, they can irrevocably toughen as a result of cooking them for an extra minute or two.

Tom Yam Kung
serving suggestions


Serve Tom Yam Kung as a separate fish course or, as the Thais do, as part of a single course comprising a number of other dishes including plain rice.


Don't accompany Tom Yam Kung with a beverage if you serve the soup as a separate course.

Tom Yam Kung


Sauté the shells in a little oil before adding them to the boiling water in step 2.


Prepare Tom Yam Kung with an unseasoned stock made from fish, chicken, or pork bones.


Substitute it for the shrimp. (In this case, use an unseasoned chicken stock.)


Popular ones include thinly sliced mushrooms.

Lemon Grass

Some cooks serve the soup with the shredded lemon grass. This garnish should not be eaten, however, because the shreds are extremely fibrous.



Famous peasant dishes

Arroz Con Pollo  Spain
Cassoulet  France
Cha Chiang Mein  China
Couscous  Morocco
Houskove Knedliky  Czech Republic
Huevos Rancheros  Mexico
Nasi Goreng  Indonesia
Osso Buco  Italy
Oyako Donburi  Japan
Roghan Josh  India
Tom Yam Kung  Thailand
Vatapa  Brazil
Yalanci Dolma  Turkey

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