Tom Yum Gai (Thai Hot & Sour Chicken Soup)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins

This is our version of the hot and sour soup, modified to taste as much as possible like the wonderful version we would get at our favorite Thai restaurant, Bahn Na, in Ypsilanti, MI. I've included the modifications (*) that make it vegetarian-friendly. A note about the fish sauce: this can be purchased from any Asian grocery, and I would recommend just about any that come in a glass bottle - they generally taste better.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken and/or tofu, onion (not the green onions), half each of the ginger and lemongrass until the chicken is only a little bit pink and the onion translucent.
  2. Add the stock, fish sauce, remaining ginger and lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and (optional) serrano chilies. Simmer 10 - 15 minute covered on medium-low heat.
  3. Add the sugar, Nam Prik Pao, and sliced tomatoes. Simmer an additional 2 minute.
  4. Turn heat fully to low and add the lime juice to taste. Add half of the diced cilantro and the green onions, then let simmer on low for another few minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve with additional lime juice.


Most Helpful

Great soup! Perfect homemade version of a Thai favorate. Like others I made without kaffir lime leaves as I was unable to find any - still super tasty results. A definite keeper.

girlaugust February 07, 2010

wow! I could have fooled anyone with this recipe. Exactly the same look and taste as the Tom Yum Gai from our favourite local Thai restaurant. I will certainly put that recipe in my top 25! (note: i didn't even have any kaffir lime leaves and it was still terrific!)

nlavigne January 11, 2010

This is a very good, basic recipe to get the idea of the soup and be able to make your own adjustments according to taste. If you followed it exactly you would never add the mushrooms and who knows what they mean by "another few minutes"? So, I would assume this recipe is meant to be adjusted and wing it. I just made this and it was excellent. I had no peanut oil so I used canola with a couple dashes of hot chili flavored oil and I used less fish sauce and lime juice than they called for, but more lemongrass and lime leaves and I had shiitake mushrooms on hand so I used those. I also never get fresh ginger anymore, I use naturally pressed ginger juice in place of fresh ginger since I can never use it up before it goes bad. The bottle of ginger juice lasts for a while in the fridge and I just add with the broth instead of saute. I also put in some shrimp instead of chicken at the end and was great. I thought this was pretty close to perfect for the balance of flavors, at least to my sense of taste. I don't think you can really go wrong using this as the framework for your own soup. Just don't follow the recipe exactly and don't be afraid to taste along the way to make it exactly how you would like it!

jeanshallot August 04, 2012

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