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Creamy Tom Yum soup in a soup bowl.

Easy Thai Creamy Tom Yum Soup with Shrimp (Tom Yum Goong)

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  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This easy Thai creamy Tom Yum soup with shrimp (Tom Yum Goong) is the ultimate Thai soup you don't want to miss. This creamy version is made the traditional way using whole shrimp heads to make the broth giving this classic soup a rich flavorful soup that is delectable and addicting! 


  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, heads, tails, and shells on.  
  • 5 cups of shrimp stock. We will use the heads and shells of our large shrimp to make shrimp stock for this recipe. 
  • 1/4 cup Tom Yum paste. Use up to 1/2 cup if you prefer a strong-flavored soup. Make your own Tom Yum Paste or buy Aroy -D brand.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai roasted chilies paste, Nam Prik Pao. Make your own or buy this brand of Nam Prik Pao.
  • 5 - 6 ounces of mushrooms, sliced into large pieces. Use Shimeji, Shiitake, button, straw, and mushrooms. Different types of mushrooms great for Tom Yum soup are button mushrooms, straw, or oyster mushrooms.
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped into 2-inch pieces. 
  • 1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass. Smash with a knife's bottom to release flavor.
  • 2 thick slices of fresh galangal in 2-inch round pieces at 1/8 inch thick. Smash with a knife's bottom to release flavor.
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn into large pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro stems or roots, sliced into 1-inch pieces. Use the largest and lowest stems possible.
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Use coconut milk or heavy cream as a substitute
  • 2 teaspoon sugar. White, palm, or brown sugar.  
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce. 
  • 1/2 cup tamarind pulp. Lime juice is fine as a substitute. Use only 1/3 cup of lime juice. The soup is sour, so adjust as needed if you don't want too tangy of a flavor. 


  1. Prepare the shrimp. Clean the shrimp with cold water, pat dry, and remove the shrimp shells and heads. Place the shells and heads in the stock pot. Devein the raw shrimp and set aside until later.
  2. Make the stock. Add water to a large pot with the shrimp heads and shells on medium heat. Use a large pot like a dutch oven or stock pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully strain the stock from the pot into a large heat-safe bowl. Save the stock for making the soup, and discard the shrimp heads and shells.
  4. Add the shrimp stock and all the herbs (fresh lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, and cilantro stems) back into the stock pot on medium heat. Bring the stock to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes. Add whole chilis here if you want more heat. Completely optional. 
  5. Add Tom Yum paste and Nam Prik Pao (Roasted chili paste) and stir well until the paste dissolves. If you use a store-bought paste, your broth will turn more orange-reddish than homemade paste. 
  6. Add the vegetables (shallot, mushroom, tomato) and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes more. Feel free to add a little more of your favorite vegetables here too.
  7. Add the evaporated or coconut milk. Heavy cream works, too, as a substitute. Stir together well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Watch the broth turn a milky, creamy color!
  8. Lastly, add the shrimp, fish sauce, and tamarind, and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, and remove the soup from the stovetop. The soup is still very hot, but carefully taste and adjust as needed with more fish sauce, tamarind juice, or sugar.

That’s it! Serve fresh and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. 


  • Don’t forget to remove the chunky herbs before eating, especially the lemongrass and galangal, if you don’t want to eat them. They will not harm you, but they are pretty strong in flavor and hard to chew if you are not used to them.
  • Tom Yum soup can be eaten as a stand-alone dish. You can add cooked Jasmine rice to the bowl if desired. My Thai family and I often do so as it makes the soup more hearty. Rice also serves as a great buffer for the spicy flavors of the soup! (: 
  • For spicy food lovers, add whole Thai chili peppers, fresh or dried, to the soup to add heat. Leave the Thai chilies whole. The seeds will be too spicy unless you truly enjoy the extreme spiciness. (:

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  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai