Say YUM to Tom Yum! A Taste of South East Asian Cuisine

Shoshana Fisher | July 21, 2022

Tom Yum is a soup that originated in Thailand. Its name comes from the Thai words Tom, meaning boiling and Yam, meaning mixed. It is usually made with kaffir lime, lemongrass, fish sauce, and red chili peppers. Tom Yum is prepared and cooked by crushing herbs into a paste, then stir frying them in oil along with the other ingredients. Finally seasoning and spices are added in. The dish takes on a variety of different forms with different main ingredients. Some versions include a coconut based soup, fish, chicken, and prawn.

Nowadays, in more modern times, mushrooms are typically used in the dish. Tom Yum has become popularized outside of Thailand over the years. Malaysia for example, integrated Tom Yum into its cuisine in the 1980s and is not found in most Malaysian restaurants and eateries. The popularization of Tom Yum along with a variety of other Thai dishes brought over 120,000 Thai chefs into Malaysia.

Tom Yum is a wide ranging dish spanning multiple Southeast Asian countries and different meats and herbs. It is truly a diverse dish in both flavor and in the countries it serves.