Chicken tom yum is a traditional Thai soup that gets its spice from nam prik pao (Thai chili paste) and Thai bird’s eye chiles, and its sourness from lime juice. This delicious and easy-to-make soup is a perfect meal on its own or served over steamed rice.
How to Make Tom Yum Gai
To prepare the soup, place a large pot over high heat and add chicken, lemongrass, ginger, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, covered, until chicken is cooked through. Strain the broth and discard any solids.
You’ll want to use dark meat for this recipe because it will help keep the soup nice and tender. It’s also a great way to enjoy the flavors of this spicy soup in something that is more healthy.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a garnish of chopped cilantro leaves.
To make the marinade, blitz together tom yum paste ingredients in a mini chopper or food processor. You can also simply mince the paste and slather it on the chicken before baking or grilling. This is a great way to use up leftover tom yum sauce, as well!
If you have any trouble finding tom yum paste, feel free to substitute it with a combination of garlic, basil, and cilantro. You’ll need a few tablespoons of each herb and a little bit of lime juice.
You can also try adding some cherry tomatoes into the mixture for a little more color and flavor. Alternatively, you could add some whole serrano peppers instead of the Thai bird’s eye chiles for some extra spiciness.
This recipe is a good one for making ahead and freezing. The chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to a month, and the tom yum sauce can be kept in the freezer for up to a year.
Tom Yum Gai is a popular Thai hot and sour soup that uses clear chicken broth instead of shrimp broth. The classic ingredients are lemongrass, galangal, and makrut (kaffir) lime leaves. It is also infused with roasted chili paste and cilantro for an added kick!
Soups made from chicken broth are a popular choice in Thai cuisine because they can be very quick to make. They’re also lower in fat and calories than tom kha gai which features coconut milk, as well as a creamy texture.
These soups are often paired with grilled or oven-baked chicken, but you can use any type of cooked meat you like to make this recipe. If you want to save even more time, consider making the tom yum sauce ahead of time and storing it in the refrigerator for up to a week before cooking.
How to Make Tom Kha Gai
The most common variation of tom yum gai is tom kha gai, which swaps the chicken for shrimp. It’s a simple, easy, and delicious version of this soup that’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners or lunches on the go!