This is a Non-Spicy Tom Yum Soup, which I never knew existed until my Thai godmother made me some when I was feeling under the weather. She says that the non-spicy tom yum broth is often drank by the Thais when they have a cold coupled with a sore throat. By the way, it’s not recommended to consume spicy foods when one has a sore throat, hence the non-spicy version of this popular Thai dish.
When I was living in Singapore, Tom Yum soup was a very common dish. It can be found not only in Thai restaurants (such as the popular chain “Thai Express”), but also in food courts and hawker centres everywhere. The Tom Yum soups offered in the food courts and hawker centres are sometimes “Chinese-inspired” (meaning, there are hardly Thai ingredients in the broths, instead, they are often made with bottled tom yum paste filled with preservatives and sugar). I wouldn’t really say those are “authentically Thai”. Although I wouldn’t dare to say I know what an “authentically Thai” Tom Yum soup is supposed to taste like.
The most authentic I’ve tasted would be my Thai godmother’s (i.e. this recipe). She gladly taught me how to cook this non-spicy version so I can have it any time, any day. It takes only a few ingredients (you can always buy a bunch at the Asian market and freeze them for later use) to make this delicious soup. If you like your Tom Yum soup spicy, simply melt some thai chilli paste (i.e. nam prik pao) into the soup right before serving.
I hope you like this Non-Spicy Tom Yum soup recipe. It is a clear version that has tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, and prawns as accompanying ingredients. Feel free to modify the accompanying ingredients. I sometimes like to add basa fish pieces.
This Non-Spicy Tom Yum Soup is a popular Thai dish that is so simple to make. It only takes a handful of ingredients. I love drinking this when I'm having a cold and a sore throat.
- 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 stalk lemongrass lightly pounded/smashed, then sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 4-6 pieces galangal
- 1 small bird's eye chili sliced open, seeds removed
- 1 tomato quartered
- 6-8 pieces mushrooms of your choice (I like oyster, white, and button); sliced
- 4-6 pieces prawns peeled and deveined
- 4-6 pieces kaffir lime leaves tear them a little
- Some fish sauce to taste
- Some lime juice to taste
- Some sugar to taste
- *A handful of cilantro *optional, for garnishing
- *1 tablespoon thai chili paste (i.e. nam prik pao) *optional, for spicy version
- *4-6 pieces bird's eye chili *optional, for spicy version
Bring stock to a boil. Add lemongrass, galangal, and red thai chili. Continue to boil for about 5 minutes, cover the pot with a lid, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
After simmering for about 20 minutes, bring the soup to a boil again. At this point, you should be able to smell the fragrance from the ingredients. If you prefer a stronger flavour, feel free to let the soup boil on high heat for another 5 minutes. However, be careful not to let too much water evaporate.
Add the tomato, sliced mushrooms, and prawns into the soup. Boil for about 1 minute. Then, add the torn kaffir lime leaves in and turn the heat off. You only want to add the lime leaves right at the end, so the leaves won't give a bitter taste to the soup.
In your serving bowls, add in some fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. It's up to you how much you want to add. Fish sauce gives the soup its saltiness, lime juice gives the soup a sour taste, and sugar is for those who like their tom yum a little sweeter.
Finally, distribute the ingredients into the bowls, and pour the soup over. Garnish with cilantro if you like.
*Special instruction: If you enjoy your tom yum spicy, feel free to add some thai chili paste (i.e. nam prik pao) into your soup just before you turn off the heat. Give the soup a good stir to melt the chili paste thoroughly. You may also add some more sliced bird's eye chili (preserving the seeds instead of removing them will add more spice to your soup).
Note that I suggested adding 1 bird's eye chili into the soup even though this is a non-spicy version. I find that it gives extra depth and flavour to the soup this way. Adding just one piece isn't going to make the soup spicy. =)
Like this recipe? I think you may also be interested in: