Thai Prawns and Squid Hot Soup (Tom Yum Kung Lae Pia Muk)



4 servings



1/2 lb. squid
5 cups stock
3 lime leaves
1 stalk lemon grass, crushed
1/2 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
Nam pla, to taste
2 to 4 fresh chilies, sliced into rounds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 lime or
lemon, or
to taste
Chopped coriander leaves, to garnish


Clean the squid, cut off and chop the tentacles, then cut the body into rings.

Put the stock, lime leaves and lemon grass in a pan, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the prawns (shrimp), squid and nam pla. Cook until the prawns have turned pink, then add the chilies.

Pour the soup into 4 warmed individual bowls. Mix together the garlic and lime or lemon juice to taste, then stir into the soup. Sprinkle with coriander. Serve hot. Serves 4.

NOTE: Nam pla is Thailand fish sauce.

Lemon grass, fresh lemon grass is available from Asian stores. The lower third of the stalk, the bulb like portion, is the part to use when a recipe specifies ‘chopped or sliced lemon grass’. Alternatively, the whole stalk may be bruised and added during cooking, but then it should be removed before serving. Dried lemon grass is a good substitute:--Soak in hot water for about 2 hours before using then remove from the dish before serving. 1 Tablespoon dried lemon grass is roughly equivalent to 1 stalk fresh. Powdered lemon grass is also available.

Lime leaves, fresh lime leaves are preferred, but virtually unobtainable in the West. Dried lime leaves are available from Asian stores.

Asian Cooking

Author's Comments

Ideally, the stock for this soup should be made with pork bones. If these are not available, however, use chicken stock (bouillon) cubes instead.

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