Tom Yum Soup is the most popular recipe in Thai cuisine and one which everyone loves. Our vegan Tom Yum Soup is aromatic, spicy and so delicious. It's easy to make and ideal for when you fancy a cosy night in with homemade Thai food.
Every single time I go to a Thai restaurant I order Tom Yum Soup as a starter. It's so aromatic, so tasty. I always thought it's difficult to make at home until I tried it and realised it's such a simple recipe to master. The ingredient list might look long, but the reality is you can find all those ingredients in any local supermarket. Besides, with the added tofu, this soup is just the perfect lunch for any occasion. It's my new favourite Thai recipe to make.
Where did Tom Yum Soup come from
Tom yum or tom yam is a hot and sour Thai soup that normally has prawns in it. It is originated from Thailand and the meaning of tom yum comes from the Thai words "to boil" and "to mix". Tom Yum is sour and fragrant thanks to the generous herbs and spices as part of the ingredients. The soup is made with fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce and red chillies. You can already imagine the smell of these ingredients cooked together. Delicious!
Our version of Thai tom yum soup is plant-based which means we're replacing the prawns with tofu and we're not using fish sauce but soy sauce instead. This is not uncommon in Thailand as plenty of people are vegetarian there and use tofu instead of prawns for their Tom Yum.
Our vegan Tom Tum Soup
Our vegan Tom Yum Soup tried to follow the authentic method of Thai tom yum as closely as possible, by replacing some ingredients to make them vegan. You can make some ingredient swaps if you like to adapt the recipe. The most important thing is to follow the method as presented below.
Traditional Thai tom yum has a paste as the base of the soup. In our case, we're using fresh red chillies, galangal and garlic. They are ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have a mortar and pestle you can use your kitchen blender but I do recommend sticking to the traditional method, if possible.
Ingredients for vegan Tom Yum Soup
Fresh Lemongrass - Lemongrass is often used in Thai cuisine. It's especially delicious when slightly bruised to start releasing some of its oils. It softens when boiled in Tom Yum Soup. You can eat it or you can remove it from the soup if you don't like it.
Red hot chillies - A must ingredient make the vegan tom yum hot. You can use 2 red Thai chilli peppers or just normal red chilli peppers if you prefer a milder tom yum.
Garlic Cloves - The garlic needs to be fresh because it will be ground together with the chillies and galangal. It forms the base of the soup.
Galangal - Galangal is an aromatic root used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It is part of the plant species in the ginger family and it is known to promote digestion and help with stomach problems.
Olive Oil - I like to use extra virgin olive oil in all my recipes. Some Thai tom yum soup recipes call for coconut oil. You can absolutely replace olive oil with any other vegetable oil you prefer as well.
Vegetable stock - I make my own vegetable stock by mixing a couple of veg cubes with boiling water. I always have some in the pantry so it makes it easier to use when a recipe calls for it.
Juicy tomato - Try to find a juicy tomato that's in season, if possible. This is to give your soup a special umami taste. It also helps a little with the bright red colour.
Lime leaves - Also known as Kaffir leaves, these come from a fruit called Thai lime. It's a citrus fruit native to tropical Southeast Asia and China. Here are some interesting things about this ingredient. Because the name kaffir was an ethnic slur for black African people, many authors started calling it makrut lime or Thai lime.
Extra-firm tofu - This is your prawn replacement to make this a delicious and filling vegan tom yum soup. You can leave it out if you prefer.
Soy sauce - Soy sauce replaces fish sauce so you can enjoy a delicious vegan tom yum soup. I like to use a lightly salted soy sauce but you can go for whichever you prefer.
Coconut milk - We use it from a can. Simple and easy from a supermarket.
Fresh lime juice - Tom Yum is a sour soup so make sure you don't skip this ingredient. Use fresh lime juice and not lemon. This ingredient is very important to keep that authentic Thai taste.
Agave syrup - You can use a tbsp of brown sugar if you prefer but I really like my agave syrup.
Sliced mushrooms - Just in love with how these mushrooms cook so well in the vegan tom yum.
Fresh cilantro to garnish - Cilantro is such an aromatic herb, a must for just about any Thai dish. However, you can replace it with parsley if you prefer.
Tips for making vegan Tom Yum Soup
- Use fresh ingredients - You will want to use fresh ingredients so your Thai tom yum soup tastes fantastic and it's actually fragrant and nice.
- Use a mortar and pestle - Use the traditional grinding method to create the base for your soup. It will make such a difference to the taste. It takes just 5 minutes to grind the ingredients and the result is spectacular.
- Cilantro adds - Using cilantro to garnish really does add to the flavour of the vegan tom yum soup. Besides, you will first meet the wonderful smell of cilantro, which goes so well with the hot and sour soup.
- Use normal coconut milk - Use full-fat coconut milk from a can and not the light version. This will make your soup creamy. It makes a difference to the taste and consistency as well.
- Use a large ceramic pot - Use a large ceramic cooking pot for your soup. Keep the heat at low-medium so nothing sticks to the pot. This is a much healthier alternative to any non-stick pot.
That's it! You are now ready to enjoy this amazing vegan tom yum soup! Love soups? Here are a few more you are going to absolutely adore:
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Pumpkin and Orange Soup
- Spicy Roast Pumpkin Soup
- White Bean and Kale Soup
- Spiced Tomato Soup
- Cream of Potato Soup
- Spicy Hungarian Soup
- Quick and Easy Ramen
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.