Vegan tom yum soup ต้มยำวีแกน
This is my recipe for vegan tom yum soup. Note with some ingredients I’ve given a range (e.g. ¼-½ teaspoon salt). Start with the lowest amount and, when you’re ready to serve, taste the soup and make adjustments with the additional quantities if necessary. The timings might seem short, but is necessary to maintain the bright flavours of the aromatics. As a component of a larger meal this will serve several people, but as a main on its own with rice you'll get 2-3 servings (depending on how many filler ingredients like tofu you add to the soup).
- 500 millilitres water or unsalted light vegetable stock
- 1 stalk lemongrass (2 if small stems) bashed with a knife or pestle, and sliced sliced into 2 inch lengths
- 4 centimetre piece of galangal cut into thin slices
- 3-4 makrut lime leaves (depending on size) torn
- 3 small shallots peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
- 2 coriander roots lightly bashed
- 0-5 bird's eye chillies (or dried chillies) lightly bruised (or sliced if you want a spicier soup)
- 150-200 grams mixed mushrooms sliced or whole if small
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved (optional)
- handful vegan fish balls, tofu puffs, firm tofu, other veg
- 2 tablespoons nam prik pao (Thai chilli jam)
- 2 tablespoons Thai thin soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons palm sugar
- ¼-½ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 sping onions sliced on the diagonal (optional)
- ¼ cup vegan evaporated milk or coconut milk (optional)
- big handful roughly chopped coriander or sawtooth coriander
Add water (or stock), lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, and coriander roots to a pot. Bring to the boil. Knock heat back to a slow simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Add chillies, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, tofu (fish balls, veg, etc...) nam prik pao, soy sauce, palm sugar, and salt. Stir through to combine and break up clumps of nam prik pao. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Turn off heat and add lime juice, spring onions, and vegan evaporated or coconut milk (if using). Garnish with coriander.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
If you don't wish to make your own nam prik pao, you will find jars for sale in any Thai grocer or Asian market with a sizeable Thai selection. Containers may be labelled as chilli paste with Thai text น้ำพริกเผา. Commercial versions, however, are often nonvegan so be sure to check the ingredients.
For clarification on Thai soy sauces, you can refer to my Thai soy sauce primer.