Vegan Tom Yum Soup Two Ways

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Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

Did you know that there were two versions of the ubiquitous tom yum soup? If you’ve had vegan tom yum soup in a restaurant, chances are you’ve had the Instagrammable red version called tom yum nam khon, which has two extra ingredients—nam prik pao (Thai roasted chilli paste) and milk. The clear version, tom yum nam sai, is more often made at home, being the healthier, lighter, and (possibly) more boring-looking alternative.

I personally prefer the clear vegan tom yum, but my husband prefers the bolder flavours of the red tom yum. Here are the recipes for both, may you find the one that you prefer. Tom yum is usually served with rice as part of a meal, but several eateries in Thailand do serve noodles in tom yum soup, so there’s no reason why you can’t do that!

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Ingredients

0/17 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Additional for tom yum nam khon (red version)

Instructions

0/7 Instructions
  • Put 500ml of water on the stove to boil. Firmly pound the lemongrass, galangal, garlic and chilli with the back of your knife. Slice the lemongrass and galangal, chop the garlic and chilli. If you are not so good with spicy food, you can remove the seeds from the chilli. Crush the kaffir lime leaves in your fist like the heart of your enemies and tear them into pieces. Cut the onion and tomato into big-ish pieces. Wash the mushrooms, bamboo shoot and vegan fish ball and cut into manageable sizes.
  • When the water has boiled, add the lemongrass, galangal, garlic, chilli and kaffir lime leaves, and boil in the water with the lid on. While this is happening, juice the limes.
  • After 10 minutes, add the white onion and tomato, mushrooms, bamboo shoot and vegan fish ball and boil in the water with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 tbsp soy sauce or vegan fish sauce, and 0.5 tsp of sugar. If you use a vegan fish sauce, the colour will come out lighter than if you use soy sauce.
  • For tom yum nam sai (clear version)
  • Turn the flame off. Add 2 tbsp of lime juice. Taste and add sugar / soy or vegan fish sauce / lime juice to your preference. Add a handful of roughly chopped coriander (I didn't have any).
  • For tom yum nam khon (red version)
  • Add 1 tbsp nam prik pao (Thai roasted chilli paste) and 3 tbsp non-dairy milk. Stir to mix well.
  • Turn the flame off. Add 2 tbsp of lime juice. Taste and add sugar / soy or vegan fish sauce / lime juice to your preference. Add a handful of roughly chopped coriander (I didn't have any).

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