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Tom yam soup with seafood and noodles

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Most folks get tom yam soup to start dinner, but what if it was the main course? This soup is, it is filled with noodles, or rice, vegetables and seafood. This soup is a meal in a bowl. This recipe is based off the tom yam pla recipe from the fabulous cookbook Bangkok. The changes I made were to add vegetables, and to use noodles (on request) instead of rice.

This absolutely delicious soup is quite different from the goopy tom yam soups in Thai/Asian restaurants. It is light and pops with sour and spicy flavors. The sour agent is green mango, very unusual, but it adds a delicate sourness that does not over power the palate, like its counterpart tamarind that is generally used. In addition, this soup is also very light in color. The seafood, shrimp and red snapper fillets in this case, and the crunchy vegetables add texture to the soup. The soft noodles make it the perfect meal. A beautiful and wonderful cookbook that highlights Thai specialities from Bangkok, this is fast becoming my go to cookbook for Thai cuisine. The recipes are a far cry from the standard fare and every recipe I have cooked is amazing. I highly recommend this cookbook for those folks who would like a diverse and delicious Thai menu.

For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.


10 cups water or chicken stock or vegetable stock

3-4 kaffir lime leaves, halved

1-2 lemongrass leaves, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 2-inch piece of galangal, pureed or finely chopped

1-2 red bird’s eye chilies, halved, or to taste

A few drops fish sauce, Thai preferred

1 cup green mango, cut into small dice

1/2 cup edamame

1 carrot, cut into small dice

1/2 lb firm fish, such as red snapper, tilapia, or other, cut into large dice

1/2 lb shrimp

Salt to taste

1 large bok choy, cut into thin ribbons

1/4 cup cilantro. minced

1/4 cup mint, minced

Juice from 3-4 limes

1/2 cup Thai bird’s eye chilies, preferably red, roughly sliced

3 garlic cloves

Salt to taste

Thin egg noodles, vermicelli noodles or cooked rice

Cook the noodles as per the manufacturers directions, minus 1 minute to keep them al dante. Drain and toss with a touch of oil, to prevent sticking, and set aside. If they do stick, as they tend to, dont worry they will come apart in the hot soup. Have the cooked rice ready if you are using rice instead of the noodles.

Bring the stock to a simmer and add the ingredients from the lime leaves to carrots. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. You can make the soup to this point and set aside. Complete the soup just before serving for the best results.

If the stock has been previously made, bring to a boil. Add the fish and shrimp, and simmer for 5-7 minutes till the fish and shrimp are cooked through. Do not over cook the fish or they will start to disintegrate.

Add the cooked noodles or rice, and bring back to a strong simmer to heat up the soup.

Turn off the heat and add the bok choy, cilantro, mint and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt. Remember that you have the pounded chilies on the side, so the soup should be mildly spicy at this point. You want the soup to be lively with strong sour notes and some mild heat. The herbs, cilantro and mint should be prominent.

Serve immediately with the pounded chilies on the side.

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