Tom Yum Talay: Thai Seafood Soup

Seafood soup on elaborately set table.
Anita Ong / Stocksy United
  • Total: 27 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 bowls (serves 4)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
402 Calories
25g Fat
36g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 bowls (serves 4)
Amount per serving
Calories 402
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 21g 106%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 1760mg 77%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 17g
Calcium 174mg 13%
*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.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (minced), or 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons frozen or bottled prepared lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir 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
  • Optional: 1 handful of fresh mushrooms (sliced thinly)
  • 12 medium raw shrimp (shelled and deveined)
  • Other seafood of your choice: fresh mussels, scallops, crab, or sliced fish fillet (up to 1 handful of each)
  • 1 medium tomato (cut into thin strips)
  • Optional: a handful of baby bok choy
  • 1/2 can (14 ounces) thick coconut milk (not "lite")
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves (roughly chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

Substitutions That Work

If you have any trouble finding the ingredients, don't put off making it; 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 kaffir 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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