Homemade Thai Tom Yum Chicken

Out of this World Tom Yum Chicken!
Ratings (15)
  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
500 Calories
26g Fat
26g Carbs
42g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The flavors in Thai Tom Yum chicken are so incredible, this dish will fast become one of your dinner favorites. Although you can also buy a pre-made Tom Yum paste in stores, I find my homemade one infinitely superior because all the herbs and spices are fresh, not packaged or preserved. It sounds complicated, but it isn't.  Just blitz together all the paste ingredients in a mini chopper or food processor (or simply mince and stir together), then slather over chicken and bake. EASY and fantastic! For best results, use whole chicken drumsticks with the skin still on.


  • 1 to 1.5 pounds (approx .550 kilograms) chicken drumsticks, skin left on
  • 1-2 shallots, thinly sliced OR 1/4 cup minced purple onion
  • 4 tablespoons minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen prepared (available at Asian food stores)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece fresh galangal OR ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 3/4 to 1 teaspoon dried crushed chili from the spice aisle, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon shrimp paste, OR 1 additional tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped coriander/cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk, OR substitute dairy cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Set chicken pieces in a flat baking dish, such as you would use for lasagna. Be sure to leave the skin on - most of the excess fat will run off into the pan, while what is left will help flavor the dish.

  3. Place remaining ingredients together in a mini food chopper or food processor.

  4. Blitz well to create a fragrant Thai Tom Yum sauce. Note that you can also use a pestle & mortar to create a paste, then stir in the liquid ingredients at the end. Or simply mince all ingredients finely and stir together.

  5. Taste-test the sauce for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if you'd like it saltier or more chili if you'd like your chicken spicier.

  6. Pour sauce over chicken, turning the pieces into the sauce.

  7. Set in refrigerator to marinate 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours); meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F.

  8. Bake (uncovered) for 1 hour. Part way through baking, remove from oven and turn the chicken pieces in the sauce, or scoop up some of the sauce and drizzle over the chicken. If your baking dish is becoming dry, add a little water (hot water if using a glass baking dish).

  9. Return to oven until chicken is golden-brown and glistening.

  10. Serve with rice.