Spicy and sour chicken soup, or Tom Yam Kai


Everyone loves this spicy soup from the Central Plain of Thailand. It takes only few minutes to prepare and cook it.

Serves 2 


750 ml vegetable stock or chicken Thai soup stock

40 g galangal

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 lemongrass stalk

4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 onion, sliced

2 tablespoons tamarind juice

2 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon roasted chili paste

200 g chicken, bite-size

6 oyster mushrooms, cut in half

4 small shallots, sliced

2 small fresh chilies finely sliced (optional)

Chopped fresh coriander leaves and spring onion, to garnish


Bring vegetable or chicken stock to a boil. Add galangal, lime leaf and lemongrass. Boil rapidly for 1 or 2 minutes then add onion and shallots

Turn down heat to low. Stir in fish sauce, roasted chili paste and tamarind juice. Simmer for another minute.

Add chicken and mushrooms. Cook for another 3 minutes. Taste to see if extra fish sauce, roasted chili paste or tamarind juice is needed. Add sliced chilies, if using.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and spring onions.

Tip: galangal, kaffir leaves and lemongrass are the "bouquet garni" of many Thai soups. Like a bouquet garni, they bring flavors but are not consumed as such. Proceed as follows, so they give off flavors, but you can take them away easily when you're done cooking: Cut the galangal lengthwise and not sliced. Flatten, without breaking, with a pestle.Simply crumple the kaffir leaf between your fingers, without breaking the leaf. With a pestle, flatten the lemongrass stalks, all the way.You can also crush the shallots very lightly with the pestle, instead of slicing them.


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