Tom Yum Paste

Tom yum paste marinade

The Spruce

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 12 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
317 Calories
14g Fat
45g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 317
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 3986mg 173%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 113mg 565%
Calcium 180mg 14%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 990mg 21%
*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 10 times better. 


  • 1/4 cup finely minced lemongrass, fresh or prepared frozen

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, or galangal, sliced

  • 1 fresh red chile, sliced, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried crushed chile or cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste

  • 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 heaping teaspoons palm sugar, or brown sugar

  • 2 to 3 spring onions, sliced

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut milk, for a thinner sauce or to make blending easier, optional

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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