Tom Yum Paste

Tom yum paste marinade

The Spruce

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 12 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
589 Calories
17g Fat
97g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 589
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 14458mg 629%
Total Carbohydrate 97g 35%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Protein 25g
Calcium 534mg 41%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tom Yum paste is meant to be the flavoring for Tom Yum soup, but it is also simply delicious as a marinade. It works wonders with all types of chicken, fish, and seafood as well as pork. Just slather on this flavor-popping paste, then either bake, pan-fry, or grill for a dish that sings with authentic Thai taste! The paste is easy to make—just whip it up in your mini food chopper or food processor. It's healthier than store-bought Thai pastes or marinades and tastes ten times better. 


  • 1/4 cup lemongrass (fresh or prepared frozen, finely minced, available at Asian food stores)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger (or galangal, sliced)
  • 1 fresh red chili (sliced, or 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup coriander/cilantro leaves and stems (fresh chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (available at Asian food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (available at Asian food stores)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 heaping teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 to 3 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon coconut milk (this thins it out to make blending easier; if you want a thick paste, don't add it)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for tom yum paste
    The Spruce
  2. Place all ingredients in a mini food chopper or food processor. Blend to create a fragrant Tom Yum spice paste.

    Blended tom yum marindate paste
    The Spruce
  3. Use in Tom Yom soup or as a marinade and enjoy!

Tips for Using This Spice Paste

  • This paste is excellent over fish fillets or steaks, shrimp and other shellfish, or chicken or pork pieces before grilling. With fish and seafood, there is no need to marinate (the lime juice will actually begin to cook the fish and seafood)—just slather the paste over and cook right away.
  • If cooking for two, use only half the paste as a marinade and save the rest to make a delicious side sauce. Place half the paste in a small saucepan. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons coconut milk or fresh cream. Stir as you bring the sauce to a light simmer (avoid boiling, or you will lose the fresh flavor of this sauce). Drizzle over your entree, or serve on the side. Equally delicious over rice or new potatoes.
  • To use this paste for soup, bring a pot of good-quality chicken stock to a boil. Add spice paste a few tablespoons at a time, taste-testing as you go, until you're happy with the flavor and spice level. Add more fish sauce instead of salt as needed. Add shrimp or tofu, plus desired vegetables. Coconut milk can be added for a creamier soup.

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