Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup)

Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup)
One of my favourite things to order at Thai restaurants is soups as they are always so vibrant, fresh and tasty! As it turns out they are also really easy to make at home with just a few exotic ingredients that you should be able to easily find at a local Asian grocery store. This chicken soup balances spicy, sour, salty and sweet elements with a focus on the spicy and sour provided by the chilies and lime juice. Of course this soup is finished off with plenty of fresh herbs including kaffir lime leaves and cilantro. Whether you are looking for a warming soup for cooler days of a light soup for warmer days, this soup fits the bill nicely!

Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup)
For those that like it spicier, the addition of chili oil or nam prik pao is really nice. If you want to make the soup a more substantial, a little bit more like chicken noodle soup, you can add rice noodles and extra vegetables like carrots, celery or mushrooms.

Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup)

Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup)

Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup)

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 2

A Thai style hot and sour chicken soup filled with plenty of fresh herbs.

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced thinly
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly
  • 2 birds eye chilis, thinly sliced
  • 1 inch piece galangal or ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 pound chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm or brown sugar
  • chili oil to taste
  • cilantro to taste
  1. Bring the chicken broth, water, shallots, lemongrass, lime leaves, chilis, galangal and chicken to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the broth, shred it and return it to the broth.
  3. Season the broth with the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, taste testing for a balance of sour, salty, sweet and spicy.
  4. Serve garnished with cilantro to taste.


Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective said...

Incredible combination of different flavors! Great job! :)

Tieghan said...

Kevin! This looks so so good! I love all thai, but have never had thai soup! Love these flavors!

Chantale Perron said...

I'm gonna make it, but....without the chili. I'm allergic!( or my body can't stand it, especially my heart)
It looks delicious!

Anne ~ Uni Homemaker said...

Oh YUM, this looks so delicious! I can't find birds eye chilis where I'm at. Can you recommend another chili as a substitute? Serrano? Jalapeno?

Foodycat said...

I believe tom yum is traditionally served with rice - you have a spoonful of soup as flavouring for the rice. That's certainly my favourite way to eat it.

Danielle Miller said...

my favorite soup!

Kevin Lynch said...

Anne ~ Uni Homemaker: Red or green jalapenos would be nice, or nam prik pao or even sriracha to taste.

Lucy Chapman said...

This looks so good, I've only made an Asian soup once and it didn't go quite to plan, might have to give it another go.

Lucy Loves To Cook

Andie said...

Wow! This looks so good. I'm always interested to try new taste of food. I can see it has quite a number of ingredients there, but the cooking seems fairly easy. Definitely worth giving it a try.. Thanks for the recipe

Hansu said...

Definitely going to try this one! The only problem is that I can't find any fresh kaffir lime leaves where I live. Would it be okay to use dried ones or maybe just ordinary lime leaves?

Kevin Lynch said...

Hansu: The easiest substitute for the kaffir lime leaves would probably be lime zest. I would skip the dried kaffir lime leaves and I have not used regular but I imagine that they would work. If you do end up finding some kaffir lime leaves, they keep well in the freezer so you can save them for later user for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

Just made this for dinner, substituted lime zest for the kaffir lime leaves as I didn't have was really delicious!! Will definitely make this over and over again!

Anonymous said...

Kevin - just cooked this. Brilliant flavour - thanks for posting this.

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