Chicken Tom Yum soup recipe

(1855 ratings)

This chicken Tom Yum soup uses a shop bought paste to create a delicious meal that’s packed with flavour but ready in under an hour.

Chicken tom yum soup
(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories191 Kcal10%
Sugar3.8 g4%
Fat5.4 g8%
Saturated Fat0.8 g4%
Salt3.13 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein30.7 g61%
Carbohydrates5.1 g2%
Salt3.13 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Our chicken Tom Yum soup is healthy and easy to make with only three steps in the method.

This is a fragrant Thai soup which is delicious at any time of year and can be enjoyed as a speedy lunch or dinner. It’s cooked in one pan so there’s minimal washing up and although we’ve used chicken, you can of course swap for prawns, tofu or extra veggies if you prefer. The spiciness of the soup will be determined by the paste you use and if you use the optional red chillies.


  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 400g skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
  • 1tbsp tom yum paste
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 150g green beans or mange tout
  • Few small whole red chilli peppers, optional
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped




  1. Heat the oil in a large wok or deep frying pan and fry the spring onions for 2 to 3 mins. Add the chicken strips and stir-fry for 4 to 5 mins until no longer pink. Stir in the tom yum paste and cook for 1 min.
  2. Pour in the stock and add the lime leaves and green beans or mange tout and small whole chilli peppers, if using. Simmer gently for around 10 mins or until the chicken is just cooked.
  3. Add the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the coriander and simmer for 1 to 2 mins until just wilted. Serve in warmed bowls.

Top tips for making chicken tom yum soup

Grilled baby aubergines and mushrooms are delicious alternatives to the chicken if you want to make the soup vegetarian or vegan. Make sure you use a vegetable stock instead and omit the fish sauce. 

Is Tom Yum a healthy soup?

Our recipe for Tom Yum soup is healthy because it’s under 200 calories per portion and has only 0.8g saturated fat. Thanks to the chicken, it has over 30g of protein per portion too. You could make it heartier by serving with steamed rice as a broth-like curry or consider adding some rice noodles to the soup instead. 

Why is Tom Yum so spicy?

The paste for Tom Yum is traditionally made with a blend of chillies and fragrant herbs and ingredients such as lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal. Different brands of paste will vary in flavour and spice so experiment until you find a blend you like, or consider making your own from scratch. 

Some soups and curries also include more fresh red chilli in the ingredients which adds another hit of spice. If you prefer milder soups and curries, we recommend choosing another recipe.

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

“The best Tom Yum soups are the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and sour. Adjust the seasoning to your preference, adding a little more fish sauce, sugar and lime juice as you see fit. I personally love a real hit of lime and sometimes serve extra lime wedges on the side so I can add more while I’m eating it.” 

This is an easy recipe that's all cooked in one pan. We recommend a wok or a deep-frying pan like this one from Meyer. 

Meyer Accent Deep Frying Pan Non Stick 26cm - View at Amazon

Meyer Accent Deep Frying Pan Non Stick 26cm - View at Amazon

Food writer Jessica Ransom says: “I have this pan at home and love it. I use it to cook everything from soup and pasta sauces to stir fry and fried rice.” It’s compatible for all hob-types, including induction and weighs less than 2kg.

If you like the flavours in this soup, explore more of our best Thai recipes. For something creamier and veg-packed, try this carrot and butternut squash soup or our cream of tomato soup is a classic.

With contributions from