It’s Time for Thai

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Recently, my daughter-in-law Lynn came by with a carton of homemade Tom Yum Soup. Having caught cold and feeling under the weather, the soup was a welcome antidote—clean flavors, warm and spicy—and it hit the spot.

It was so delicious that I asked Lynn how she made it, and I found it’s remarkably easy.

Being from Thailand, Lynn knows how to create the authentic taste of Thai dishes. Her soup called for galangal and a few other ingredients that aren’t so readily accessible, so I asked if she could revise her ingredient list; she complied with the version below, which tasted as good as the original.

Thanks to Lynn, we’ve been introduced to other easy Thai make-at-home dishes. You’ll find a small collection of them in the Special Fork database. I’ll be highlighting them in this Friday’s Special Fork newsletter.

Tom Yum Soup
10 button mushrooms, quartered (6 ounces)
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2-inch lengths and pounded with the heel of a knife
1 shallot, quartered
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Thai bird chiles, seeded and minced
¼ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a medium pot combine 4 cups water and all ingredients except the shrimp. Bring to a boil; simmer 10 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer just until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Discard lemongrass before serving.

Makes 4 servings.


  • Lynn calls for 4 to 8 Thai bird chiles, but I found 2 were hot enough.
  • You can increase the amount of mushrooms, shallots and shrimp if you want a heartier soup.
  • For more color, add 6 or 7 grape tomatoes, halved, when you add the shrimp.
  • If Thai bird chiles are sold in packages requiring you to buy more than you need, freeze the remainder to use another time.

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Posted: Feb 28th by Sandy_Hu