Tom yum – The spicy and sour soup of Thailand and Laos

Like many other Eastern countries, a special thing in family meals of Thailand and Laos is an indispensable soup bowl. With an excellent spicy sour taste, tom yum is one of the most popular kinds of soup in these two countries. It is even common in many neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia…

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Tom yum is also called tom yam. In Thai, tom means cook, in this case is boiling process. Yam is a kind of spicy sour spice, usually found from the jungles of Thailand and Laos. Tom yum is hot spicy sour soup, a traditional dish of Thailand and Laos.

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There are many kinds of tom yum, but the most common are two main dishes, named after the main ingredients: tom yum goong or tom yum kung (shrimp tom yum), and tom yum kai or tom yum gai (chicken tom yum). Besides, there are also tom yum paa (Lao) or tom yam pla (Thai), tom yum po taek (Lao) or tom yam thale (Thai), tom yam nam khon, tom yam kha mu

Among them, the most different ingredient is mostly meat. They can be cooked from shrimp, fish, chicken, pork, squid… depending on the taste of diners. However, the ingredients that make tom yum special are thick broth with many herbs and spices. The ingredients needed for this broth are not simple at all.

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The indispensable ingredients include kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass tubers, young galangal root (not old galangal), dried onion, fresh chili (or dry chili), lime juice (squeezed from Thai lime) or tamarind juice, herbs (coriander, parsley, basil), tomatoes (can replaced by cashew oil for color), coconut water or coconut milk, broth from boiling chicken or pork bones, sauce (Thai sauce, if not maybe use a little fish sauce instead), sugar, salt, seasoning seeds.

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Even though tom yum ingredients are quite fussy and complicated, but once you have the necessary ingredients, you can complete the dish really quick and easily. Tom yum cooking does not require special skills. You just need to boil water with necessary spices.

After boiling water, add meat and continue boiling until it’s ripe. Finally, turn off the heat and add a few drops of lime juice and a few herbs for decoration. Done. Your delicious dish tom yum is completed.

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On a cold winter day, gathering with the family around bowls of hot rice is the most amazing thing for Asians. Experience this feeling inside your home with hot tom yum soup from Thailand and Laos today. You will never regret it.


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