Thai Tom Yum Soup

vegan thai hot and sour soup (tom yum)
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This delicious soup has typically been off limits to a number of those suffering from top 9 allergens: soy, fish and shellfish.  But I’ve developed this top 9 free recipe with all of the traditional, delicious flavor. Bring on that umami!

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This soup can be made vegan, or you can add in some protein to make the soup more substantial.  I like to add in some cooked chicken.  There are a few crucial ingredients to make this soup with authentic flavors: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal (or ginger if you cannot find galangal), fish sauce and tom yum sauce.  You guessed it, there is a problem with some of these ingredients. Ocean’s halo makes a fantastic fish and soy free fish sauce. Additionally, Tom yum paste often contains soy and/or fish and shellfish. If you can’t find a tom yum paste that is safe for your allergies, replace with a safe Thai red curry chili paste like Thai kitchen.  

To prepare the soup, start by preparing the lemongrass.  If you’ve never worked with lemongrass, here’s a really nice tutorial for how to prepare it. Cut the stalks in half vertically. With your thumbnail, find the inside portion of the stalk that is soft and bend when pressed.  Trim the stalk above and below this soft inner portion and discard. Remove the outer layers of the stalk until only the soft, inner sections remain- this is the part that we want to use, and dice. Warm the oil and saute the onion until it begins to carmelize. Add in garlic, lemongrass, green chili and galangal. Saute until softened and fragran. Stir in the  paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, fish-free fish sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  If using a protein, add cooked protein in here.  Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Taste and adjust flavoring to your preference: do you like it a bit spicier, stir in a bit of red curry paste; saltier, stir in additional ‘fish’ sauce etc.  Serve and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped green onions with lime slices on the side.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Tom Yum Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, soft parts minced (watch this tutorial if needed)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of galangal, peeled and finely shredded (can substitute with ginger)
  • 1 green chili or jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tom yum sauce or allergy safe Thai red curry paste, like Thai kitchen
  • 4 cups broth
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoon(s) fish sauce or no fish sauce by Ocean’s halo
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro + more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or juice from 1/2 a lime
  • chopped green onion for garnish

Tom Yum Instructions

  1. Warm the oil and saute the onion until it begins to caramelize. Add in garlic, lemongrass, green chili and galangal. Saute until softened and fragrant. Stir in the paste and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the broth, fish-free fish sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes and kaffir lime leaves.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  If using a protein, stir in cooked protein at the end of the simmer. 
  4. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Taste and adjust flavoring to your preference: do you like it a bit spicier, stir in a bit of red curry paste; saltier, stir in additional ‘fish’ sauce etc.  
  5. Serve and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped green onions with lime slices on the side.

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