Thai prawn and mussel tom yam (hot & sour) soup

Thai prawn and mussel tom yam soup

This is one of my absolute favourite things to eat, plus it’s really healthy too. I learned to make this whilst I was travelling, at a little place called Pum’s on Kho Phi Phi island (famous for its satellite island which you may have seen on The Beach, and which was almost completely destroyed by the tsunami in 2004. If you ever get a chance to go there, please go and support the people whose lives were affected by this tragedy). This soup isn’t so much sour as zingy – make sure you use fresh kaffir lime leaves, it really does make a difference to the taste.

{Serves 2}


  • 600ml boiling water
  • 100g cooked mussels (shells removed)
  • 8 cooked king prawns
  • 4 birds eye chillies
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 4 kaffir karrif lime leaves
  • 4 thai shallots (if you can’t find these, replace with ¼ onion)
  • 4 slices galangal (if you can’t find this, replace with ginger)
  • 4tbsp lemon juice
  • 4tbsp fish sauce
  • 2tbsp chilli paste
  • 2tbsp sugar


  1. Add all the ingredients except the prawns and the mussels into a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for two minutes.
  2. Add in the prawns and mussels and simmer for 1 minute longer. You’re done! (Yes, it’s that simple!) Don’t eat anything except the shallots, prawns and mussels and serve with rice.


  1. Sarah Boston says

    Hey! Just made this – absolutely delicious! Mine was a bit watery though – think I got the wrong chilli paste! Which do you use? Thanks.

    • Becs says

      Hi Sarah, fear not, it’s meant to be watery! Chris always says Tom Yam is just spicy water! That’s why you have rice with it, to add bulk :)

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