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Prawn Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk

Tom Yum Soup is a Thai hot and sour soup that is quick to cook, easy to prepare & tastes fantastic as a starter or a light main course meal.

When I say quick, it takes just 10 minutes to prepare, 5 if you are in a hurry, and just 10 minutes to cook!

Close up creamy Thai prawn tom yum soup.

Thai Hot and Soupr Prawn Soup

I love cooking with prawns and I always have some in the freezer. They are a wonderful ingredient that can be used in a huge variety of cuisine types to create an easy and quick but special meal.

I have everything from Indian prawn curry to harissa prawns with North African influences and Italian-influenced prawn and lemon risotto.

Here, just like my Thai red prawn curry, chicken and prawn soup and prawn Panang curry, I am channelling flavours from Thailand.

Tom yum soup is a much-loved dish and this recipe takes the hot, sweet, sour and salty flavours of the region and gives them my interpretation.

Traditionally when this dish gets its creamy finish it is thanks to evaporated milk. I’ve tried it and it is not my thing, as a result, I use coconut milk.

It’s quick and easy to cook and weighs in at less than 20 minutes, but tastes like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen!

Overhead creamy Thai prawn tom yum soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tom yum paste is best to use?

I usually use one of three brands. Lobo or Maesri are my usual go-to choice as they are readily available and pretty good.

The third is less readily available but it is the best that I have tried and that is Maepranom.

However, use whatever you can get and if needs be add more lemongrass, ginger or galangal and lime to get the balance where you want it to be.

Can I use Thai red curry paste?

Yes, using Thai red curry paste will deliver a great-tasting dish, it will be different but no less tasty!

This is particularly useful if you are not planning to use tom yum paste very often.

Can I store Thai curry pastes?

Yes, they freeze perfectly! Drop them into ice cube trays, freeze and then transfer them to a freezer bag.

They are good for up to 3 months, generally speaking, you will get around 15g of curry paste in a “normal” ice cube tray. Use 3 in each curry or soup for two.

What prawns should I use?

I usually use frozen raw prawns and defrost them by dropping them in a colander and running them under cold water for 5 minutes.

This is made with some size 16-20 prawns, the number refers to how many prawns there are per pound. They are also often sold as “jumbo” prawns.

Can I use pre-cooked prawns?

Yes, again defrost them before dropping them in the sauce, but they only need to be heated through. So add them right at the very end and warm them through.

Creamy Thai prawn tom yum soup.

Serving Suggestions

I tend to eat tom yum soup as a light main course meal and as a result, don’t usually serve it with anything else.

However, it is also wonderful as part of a multi-course meal, you could do the whole grazing thing. Serving it with dishes like my Thai-inspired chicken wings, Thai Tuna fish cakes, and some Poh Pia or Thai spring rolls.

It also makes a nice starter for dishes like my Thai green fish curry, or Thai chicken stir fry.

If you wanted a salad, how about my spicy cucumber salad?

Thai prawn tom yum hot and sour soup with coconut milk.

Equipment Used

I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Wok, I use a large carbon steel wok.
  • Chopping board.Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and or spoons.
  • Sieve or colander if you need to defrost the prawns quickly.
Thai prawn tom yum hot and sour soup with coconut milk.
Yield: 2 Servings

Tom Yum Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Tom yum soup is a Thai mainstay with thousands of versions of the recipe out there, this one is mine, characteristically (for me) spicy and warming and packed with shrimp and mushrooms


  • 250g (9oz) Large Prawns, defrosted if frozen
  • 50g (2½-3 Tbsp) Tom Yum Paste
  • 500ml (2 Cups) Chicken Stock
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 1 Clove Sliced Garlic
  • 30g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 100g (1⅓ Cup) Sliced Mushrooms
  • 165ml (⅔ Cup) Coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Red Chilli Pepper
  • 1 Handful Chopped Coriander


  1. Finely slice the chilli.
  2. Peel and cut the ginger into batons as finely as you can.
  3. Slice the mushrooms into 3-4mm (⅛") thick slices.
  4. Cut the spring onions into 1cm long slices.
  5. Cut the tomato into 8 wedges then deseed them.
  6. Peel and slice the garlic as finely as you can.
  7. Heat a wok over a high heat.
  8. When hot add the oil and the tom yum paste, then fry for 30 seconds.
  9. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  10. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer.
  11. Add in the ginger, fish sauce, spring onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, and prawns then for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Add in the sugar and lime juice and stir before adding in the shrimp, mushrooms and tomato and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  13. Pour in the coconut milk, lime juice, and brown sugar, stir and cook for a final minute or two.
  14. Serve with chopped coriander and fresh chilli.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 595Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 271mgSodium: 2836mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 16gSugar: 11gProtein: 44g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 23rd of February 2020

Absolutely love this Soup! Thanks for sharing.❤️

Brian Jones

Monday 24th of February 2020

Glad you liked it Amy :)


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Really like your version of tom yum soup! I think my boyfriend would love this recipe!

Brian Jones

Thursday 9th of November 2017

Thanks Pretty

Vicky @ Avocado Pesto

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

This is one of my all time favorite recipes! This soup is simply the best!!!

Brian Jones

Thursday 9th of November 2017

Mine too.


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Thai is my absolute favorite too - many years ago I learned how to cook several dishes, it was such fun, and SO tasty! this looks warm and comforting...

Brian Jones

Thursday 9th of November 2017

Thanks Kristina


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

This soup looks incredible, I literally love every ingredient although they are not all easy to find in Italy. I so miss fresh coriander and it always dies on me when I try to grow it. I'll maybe try adapting it slightly.

Brian Jones

Thursday 9th of November 2017

Coriander can be challenging to grow, the problem we have is to stop it bolting to seed and it is often a real headache. I totally get the problems sourcing ingredients, I am in Rural Hungary and most folk have no idea what lemon grass and kafir lime leaves are ;) I make the 320km round trip to Budapest once every 4-6 weeks to keep my pantry stocked up. It is not necessarily a sub but coriander and tamarind have a similar zingy profile so using a little in this soup would take it somewhere else but would still work really well.

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