Chicken Tom Yum Soup

We’ve finally made it to Jin Thai, a Thai restaurant in my new neighborhood that incidentally has been on the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list. We’ve been meaning to try it ever since I moved this summer since every time we walked by it was filled with people. Since it was a rather chilly winter evening,  we all started our meal with a bowl of soup. I picked the chicken tom yum soup, or as one of my friends called it, the healthy soup 🙂 It is also known as “hot and sour” or “spicy and sour soup”. The soup was delicious and since I live close by quite a few Asian grocery stores I decided to check if they had all the ingredients to make the soup, and they did! This soup is really easy to make if you have all the right ingredients and it tastes delicious! Ironically, despite its healthy soup nickname, I still managed to get sick, but the soup did make me feel a bit better 😉 I have read multiple recipes before making the soup, but the main recipe I used is from here.


  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 Thai chiles crushed
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves bruised
  • 3 galangal slices (I used ginger)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only) crushed
  • 6 mushrooms (I used shiitake)
  • 2 Tbsps nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 chicken breast (~ 8oz) sliced in 1 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 3 Tbsps lime juice

Warm up the chicken broth in a soup pot on medium-high heat. Crush chiles, bruise lime leaves, slice ginger, clean and crush the lemongrass.

Slice the mushrooms (mine came sliced). I used shiitake, but you can use canned straw mushrooms, oyster, button mushrooms, etc.

Add chiles, lime leaves, ginger, lemongrass and mushroom to the pot. Add the nam prik pao. This was harder to find in the store because none of the many chili paste jars had this exact name on it. The store clerk pointed me to a bunch of different Thai chili pastes. I was almost ready to give up and just buy the tom yum paste, but my boyfriend was able to find on google the most common brand of nam prik pao and they had it in the store!

Bring soup to a boil. Meanwhile, you can slice the chicken breast if you haven’t done it earlier.

Add chicken, fish sauce and lime juice to pot. I read that you want to add the lime juice towards the end so it doesn’t turn bitter. Boil for ~ 5min or until chicken is cooked through. 

This soup is a bit spicy so if you don’t like spicy food you may want to cut down the chili paste to 1 Tbsp. I guess, if you don’t like spicy food you probably wouldn’t be making this soup anyways 🙂 While I usually don’t eat too many soups (I know, I am weird :-)), this soup is perfect for the cold Chicago weather and I will probably make it again this winter!

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