Tom Yum Talay: Thai Seafood Soup

Tom Yum Talay Soup

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
414 Calories
19g Fat
30g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 414
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 2020mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 24mg 121%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 10mg 57%
Potassium 1289mg 27%
*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.)

This Thai seafood soup is authentic and incredible tasting with its delicious combination of seafood, lemongrass, coconut milk, and lime. The soup soothes and uplifts the spirit as well as the body. In Thailand, Tom Yum Talay is known for its health benefits and is the Thai equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you're feeling ill. And, once you have all of the ingredients, it's also remarkably easy to make. Prepare this soup on a chilly fall or winter day and you'll soon feel thoroughly warmed from the inside out.


  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced, or 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons frozen or bottled prepared lemongrass

  • 2 makrut lime leaves

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon grated galangal, or ginger

  • 1 to 2 red chilies, sliced, or 1 to 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce

  • 1 handful fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly, optional

  • 12 medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • Other seafood of your choice, such as fresh mussels, scallops, crab, or sliced fish fillet, up to 1 handful of each

  • 1 medium tomato, cut into thin strips

  • Handful baby bok choy, optional

  • 1/2 (14 -ounce) can thick coconut milk, not "lite"

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Tom Yum Talay soup

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Pour stock plus lemongrass and lime leaves in a deep soup pot over medium-high heat. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor. Bring to a boil.

    A pot of broth with lemongrass and lime leaves simmering

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add garlic, galangal or ginger, chili, and mushrooms (if using). Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

    A pot of broth with mushrooms and spices simmering

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the shrimp, any other seafood you're using, tomato, and baby bok choy (if using). Simmer over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp turns pink and plump and mussels have opened. Scallops, crab, and fish should all be firm to the touch and no longer translucent.

    A pot of broth with bokchoy, mushrooms, seafood, and spices simmering

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot (do not boil at this point). Taste-test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt (about 1 more tablespoon), or more chili as desired. If too sour, add more sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you'd like it creamier, add more ​coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.

    A pot of coconut milk broth with vegetables and cooked seafood simmering

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. For an extra hit of flavor, you can also add some Thai chili sauce, Nam Prik Pao, either store-bought or homemade. 

    Three bowls of Tom Yum Talay

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


If you have any trouble finding the ingredients, just try the recommended substitutions and it will still turn out great.

  • If you can't find lemongrass use 3 slices fresh lemon (boil in the soup).
  • Instead of makrut lime leaves use 1/2 teaspoon lime zest.
  • For the chili, substitute 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or dried crushed chili (chili flakes).
  • If you don't like the smell of fish sauce, try 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce.

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