20 Minute Tom Yum Soup

Sour and spicy, Tom Yum would have to be one of my favourite soups.  It’s a Thai soup, but you don’t need to travel to Thailand to get it, as it’s available in any Thai restaurant, pretty much anywhere you go. I just love it for its potent, fragrant flavour.

This clear and sour soup is fleshed out with prawns, tomatoes and mushrooms, with a medley of lemongrass, kaffir lime, chilli and galangal (ginger) to give it it’s punchy flavour.

While it may not be a ‘traditional’ method of making Tom Yum soup, I use a store-bought paste, as it just makes this dish so much easier to enjoy at home, whenever I like. So here is my recipe for Tom Yum soup…. it’s as rich in simplicity as it is in flavour!

Enjoy with gusto,
Jaimie Eats

Jaimie Archer
Tom Yum Soup

20 Minute Tom Yum Soup

Serves 4  |  Preparation Time: 5 minutes  |  Cooking Time: 15 minutes


1L fish stock
1L water
4 birds eye chillies, thinly sliced (optional, according to taste)
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
10cm piece galangal (ginger), sliced
8 kaffir lime leaves, spines removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved (see note)
300g shitake mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
600g uncooked prawns, peeled, tails intact
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons store-bought Tom Yum paste
Juice of 2 fresh limes
4 sprigs coriander, plus extra to serve
Fresh lime wedges, to serve


In a large wok or pot, place the fish stock, water, chillies, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and garlic, and bring to the boil.

Once the liquid is boiling, add the tomatoes and mushrooms. Lower the heat and bring the soup to a simmer.

Once simmering, stir in the prawns, fish sauce, spring onions and tom yum paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the prawns are just cooked through (see note).

Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and coriander. Give the soup a taste; it should be sour, salty, spicy and tangy. At this point you can adjust the flavours using lime and/or fish sauce. Balance the flavours, adding a little seasoning at a time, only if needed.

Divide the soup among serving bowls and top with fresh coriander and lime wedges. Serve immediately (see note), and enjoy!



To add an extra pop of colour, I used an heirloom tomato medley for this recipe, consisting of gold, grape and cherry tomatoes.

The prawns are cooked when they are firm and opaque. Be careful not to overcook, or else they end up with a rubbery texture.

A simple bowl of steamed Jasmine rice pairs perfectly with this Tom Yum Soup.

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  • Andrea Geddes
    Posted at 14:54h, 25 July Reply

    I love Tom Yum soup, especially full of plump, juicy prawns. This is a beautiful recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • jaimieeats
      Posted at 15:01h, 25 July Reply

      Thanks Andrea!

  • Sylvie
    Posted at 17:20h, 27 July Reply

    This is exactly the warm, comforting and delicious dish I wish I had for dinner tonight! Love all the colours and flavours

    • jaimieeats
      Posted at 19:26h, 29 July Reply

      and as you know I am a big fan of colour!!
      Thanks Sylvie 🙂

  • Sarah
    Posted at 23:31h, 27 July Reply

    Tom yum soup in 20 minutes? Heck yes! Adding this one to next week’s recipe plan, perfect for the cold weather we’re having at the moment 🙂

    • jaimieeats
      Posted at 19:26h, 29 July Reply

      Thanks Sarah… let me know how it turns out 😀

  • Amanda
    Posted at 07:44h, 29 July Reply

    This Tom Yum looks so full-bodied and delicious. And who can go past a 20-minute recipe?! Thanks for sharing this bowl of deliciousness.

    • jaimieeats
      Posted at 19:25h, 29 July Reply

      Thank you Amanda… it really packs a punch of flavour, and so good in this weather!

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