Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tom Yam Ghoong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)

IMG_9879eA little ways back I took a Thai cooking class and this is my recreation of the recipe that we were shown.  The soup has great flavors from making a homemade shrimp stock and from the fresh ingredients.  Eammon and I really enjoyed this soup and the flavors were a great blend of savory, sour, rich, spicy and citrus.  Thankfully for me the ingredients are easy to come by as I will be making this soup again and again, just that delicious.

IMG_9839eMy beautiful and helpful Maisie with all the ingredients for the soup.  Pictured are only two cans of straw mushrooms but I used three and the white on the Thai red chili peppers is because I always have them in my freezer so it’s just some frost from coming into the warm air.

IMG_9844eShrimp shells and heads before getting them all toasty for the stock.

IMG_9847eShrimp shells and heads all toasty and perfect to make the stock.

IMG_9853eSimmer the shrimp shells to make a gorgeous red stock and don’t mind those little beady eyeballs staring at you.

IMG_9851eThe galangal, Thai red chili peppers, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves ready to be added to the broth.

IMG_9868eAfter straining out all the shrimp shells and heads, return the stock to the pot and if you have a pasta insert it’s a great time to use it.  Add the galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves & Thai red chili peppers to the pot.

IMG_9869eOnce the soup has simmered, strain the solids from the stock.  It’s so simple with the pasta insert.  Then add the final ingredients until cooked though.


Tom Yam Ghoong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)

3 lbs. large uncooked, unshelled, heads-on shrimp
1/3 cup sesame oil 
4 quarts water
12 stalks lemon grass, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 large knobs fresh galangal, sliced 1/8-inch thick pieces (or ginger if you can’t find galangal)
30 kaffir lime leaves, center stem/vein removed
12 Thai red chili peppers
6 TBS. fish sauce (Nam Pia)
9 heaping TBS. Roasted Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao)
3 15 oz. cans straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
5 limes, juiced
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, more for garnish. 

Wash and drain the shrimp and then remove the head & shells and devein.  Retain the heads and shells for the stock.  Set the shrimp aside.

Heat up a large stock pot and when it’s hot add the sesame oil.  Once the oil is hot add the shrimp heads and shells and stirring occasionally cook on high until all the shells turn pink and get a little charred and crispy sounding when you stir.  Once the shells are all toasty add the water.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Allow the stock to simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Pour the shrimp stock though a chinois or a colander lined with cheesecloth to remove all the bits and pieces from the stock.  Quickly rinse the stock pot to remove any lingering bits and then pour the stock back into the pot and return the pot to the stove over medium heat.  If you have a pasta insert for your pot this is a great time to use it.  Either into the pasta insert or directly into the pot, add the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai red chilies, fish sauce and Roasted Chili Paste.  Mix well and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain the solids from the soup.  Discard the solids and return the stock to the pot. 

Add the straw mushrooms and return to a boil.  Once at a boil add the shrimp, lime juice and chopped cilantro.  Stir to mix and then remove from the heat, cover and allow the shrimp to cook for 5 minutes until they turn pink.

Check the balance of sweet, sour and spice and adjust as needed with more fish sauce, roasted chili paste or lime juice as needed.

To serve, pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro.



  1. This soup sounds and looks amazing. Thai is my favorite cuisine. I would love to give this recipe a try. Yummy!

  2. I haven't had this type of soup in a very long time now. We gotta go back to that Thai restaurant that we like. I like me some spicy shrimp soup. :) Thanks for stopping as well.

    Adin B

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This looks delicious & your photos are beautiful & vibrant! Thanks for linking this up!!

  5. Looks amazing! I would love to learn to make Thai food.

  6. Hi Lisa! I wanted to quickly ping you & see if you got my email about Velvet Aroma? There were some issues with my email last week! BTW, This is Sonia from Flip Cookbook. We usually have mouth-watering beauties from you at Sugar Free Sunday! :)

  7. Mmmmm - I love making shrimp stock... so full of amazing rich flavor! Btw, I am so in love with your blog!

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.


  8. your helper is the cutest! The chilli's have the most amazing photographic quality when out of the freezer with the frost showing. Lovely recipe as well :)

  9. This sounds delicious. I love the look of it as well, although just the sight of all those peppers has me thinking my mouth would be on fire!

  10. Looks delicious and spicy-hot. My absolute favorite is Tom Kha Gai. Must make some soon.

  11. Gorgeous! I love this soup and your recipe is awesome. Nice work! The only thing that makes it better is sitting on the beach in Thailand eating this hot spicy soup. . .

  12. Wow, this is impressive. Great recipe and pictures.

  13. Great tip using the pasta strainer! Thanks for linking up to A Little Nosh.

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

  14. This shrimp soup looks just wonderful - a delicious spicy treat! Thank you for sharing it with Let's Do Brunch.

  15. Visiting from Melt In Your Mouth Hop. Please return the favor. Also, Mom Blog Society is looking for recipes to feature on our site. We would love to feature you blog. Come on over if you are interested, I will be watching for you. You Can be featured more than once TOO!

  16. Good Morning Lisa,
    Your Tom Yam Ghoong looks amazing. I can just smell this dish cooking and then it would be delicious! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  17. just popping over to let you know i featured you at savory sunday this week!! if you're interested I'd love if you did a guest post :)


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