Tom Yum Soup – Instant Pot | Stove

January 9, 2020 (Updated: January 13, 2020) By Aneesha |

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An easy dump & start recipe for Tom yum Soup, a popular Thai flavored hot and sour soup. Chicken and vegetables simmered in a flavorful clear broth made with fragrant aromatics. Easy to customize or make vegetarian, this delicious soup is ready in just 30 short minutes.

Two bowls of Thai Tom Yum Soup with mushroom, chicken and carrots.

Dump & Start Recipe for this Thai Hot & Sour Soup

Tom Yum Soup is known for its flavorful broth. This clear broth is made with fragrant spices and aromatics, like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and red chili peppers.

In this easy recipe, I pressure cook chicken with aromatics, Thai red chili paste and broth (no sautéing needed), release pressure, then add vegetables, cilantro and lime. And in just 30 minutes, this delicious soup is ready.

It is extremely easy to customize too. You can switch the chicken for shrimp, or make it vegetarian by adding extra-form Tofu instead. Either way, you’ll end up with a tasty pot of soup that’ll satisfy your take-out cravings 🙂

More Dump & Start Meal Recipes for your Instant Pot

What is Tom Yum or Tom Yam

As per wikipedia, the name of this popular soup, Tom Yum or Tom Yam, is derived from two Thai words, Tom & YamTom refers to simmering or boiling, while yam refers to a spicy and sour salad.

These two words describe the flavors of this soup really well. It’s a piping hot bowl of hot & sour soup made with aromatics, vegetables and a delicious broth.

A soup spoon with tom yum soup with baby corn, carrots and broth

What is the difference between Tom kha and Tom Yum soup

Tom Kha soup is very similar to Tom Yum soup, but there’s a small difference between the two. Tom Kha is a hot soup with similar flavor foundations; however, coconut milk is added in that, which makes it more creamy in texture. 

What are Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir lime leaves are extremely aromatic thick leaves of the Kaffir Lime plant. They are often a key ingredient in most Thai dishes. These leaves add a zesty aroma and flavor to the dish, which cuts through the creamy, or sometimes spicy flavors in Thai recipes.

Where Can I find Kaffir Lime Leaves

You can find Kaffir Lime leaves in most supermarkets that sells asian ingredients and produce. Look for them in the refrigerated section, along with lemongrass, ginger etc. If not, you can find it in most Asian grocery stores.

What’s a good Substitute for Kaffir Lime Leaves

A combination of Bay Leaf and Lime zest is the closest substitute for Kaffir Lime leaves. In this recipe you can add 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp of lime zest instead of kaffir leaves.

Ingredients for Tom Yum Soup

Ingredients for Tom Yum Soup including spices, seasoning, broth, chicken and aromatics.
  • Aromatics: Lemongrass, galangal (or ginger), Kaffir Lime leaves, onion and sliced mushrooms form the flavor foundation of the soup broth.
  • Broth: I use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth to enhance the flavor of the soup.
  • Seasoning: Soy sauce, fish sauce (skip for vegetarian) and salt.
  • Thai Red Curry Paste: Just a small quantity of this curry paste is added to get the authentic flavors of Tom Yum Soup. It’s a ready-to-use shortcut instead of making the chili paste from scratch.
  • Protein: I use chicken breast in this recipe. Other alternatives are chicken thighs, shrimp or extra-firm Tofu.
  • Vegetables: Baby corn, carrots, zucchini.
  • Finishing flavors: Fresh Lime juice, chopped cilantro and a touch of agave syrup or palm sugar really tie in the flavors of this soup together.
A bowl of tom yum soup with chicken, mushrooms and baby corn

Step By Step Instructions for Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

Pressure Cook

  • Add broth, water, chopped lemongrass, sliced ginger (or galangal), onions, mushrooms, fish sauce (see notes for substitute), red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves (see notes for substitute), and chicken breast to the cooking pot. (pic 1-9)
  • Close the lid and set pressure cook, or manual for 8 mins at high pressure. (pic 10)
  • Once the cooking is done, release pressure in bursts. What that means is, release pressure 1-2 seconds at a time, then stop.  Repeat this till most of the pressure has released and its intensity has gone down. This prevents the soup from spraying out of the pressure knob.  (pic 11)
  • Open the lid after the pin drops.
Recipe steps showing adding aromatics to broth in Instant Pot
Step by step instructions for Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup
Recipe steps showing adding chicken and pressure cooking in Instant Pot

After Pressure Cooking

  • Using tongs, remove the lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaves. They are chewy and unpleasant to bite into so it’s best to remove them.
  • Remove the chicken in a bowl and shred it using two forks. Shred it as thick or thin as you like. (pic 12)
  • Now add fresh lime juice, carrots, baby corn and zucchini (or your preferred veggie combination). (pic 13)
  • Shred the chicken and add that back to the pot. (pic 14 & 15)
  • Add agave or palm sugar, stir and give it a taste to check for seasoning. Add chopped cilantro leaves for garnish. (pic 16)

Optional Step

  • As an optional step, add 1 tbsp of sriracha to give it that extra kick. We love it and I recommend it if you like spicy food.
Recipe steps showing adding veggies and shredding chicken

How to Make Tom Yum Soup on the Stove

  • Heat a large soup pot on medium-high heat. Add broth, water, chopped lemongrass, sliced ginger (or galangal), onions, mushrooms, fish sauce (see notes for substitute), red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves (see notes for substitute), and chicken breast to the cooking pot.
  • Bring broth to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreddable.
  • Using tongs, remove the lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaves. They are chewy and unpleasant to bite into so it’s best to remove them.
  • Remove the chicken in a bowl and shred it using two forks. Shred it as thick or thin as you like.
  • Fresh lime juice, carrots, baby corn and zucchini (or your preferred veggie combination) go in next.
  • Shredded chicken goes back in. Stir in agave or palm sugar, and give it a taste to check for seasoning.
  • For finishing touches, add chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.

Vegetarian/Vegan Tom Yum Soup

To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, replace:

  • Replace chicken with extra firm tofu and add it after pressure cooking, along with vegetables.
  • Replace fish sauce with soy sauce.
  • Add vegetable stock/broth instead of chicken broth

How to make Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Prawn Soup)

The word ‘Goong’ means Prawns. By adding shrimp or prawns to this recipe, you can enjoy Tom Yum Goong. Note: Add the shrimp ‘after’ pressure cooking.

Pressure cook all ingredients listed under “pressure cook” (skip the chicken ;). Release pressure and add deveined and cleaned shrimp or prawns.

Turn on saute mode and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp have turned opaque and cook through. 

A ladle with Tom Yum Soup with baby corn, zucchini, carrots and chicken

How to Make this Soup Low-Carb

Skip the agave (or palm sugar), to make this soup low-carb.

Can I Freeze Tom Tum Soup

Absolutely! To freeze this soup, wait for it to cool down completely.  Pour it in an air-tight container and store it in the freezer for up to a month.

Recipe Tips for the Best Tom Yum Soup

  • I use crimini mushrooms in this recipe. Some other mushrooms that go well in this soup are button mushrooms, shiitake, straw mushrooms
  • I used a combination of 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth and 2 cups water.  You can use all broth, or all water. If using all broth, reduce salt to 1/2 tsp. If using all water, add an additional 1/4 tsp salt, check for seasoning at the end and adjust taste. 
  • I used chicken breast in this recipe. You can use other cuts of chicken too.  If using Chicken Thighs, reduce cooking time to 6 mins, Chicken Tenders= 5 mins; Chicken breast halves (thin Slices)= 7 mins. 
  • To use shrimp instead of chicken, pressure cook all ingredients listed under “pressure cook” (skip the chicken ;). Release pressure and add deveined and cleaned shrimp. Turn on saute mode and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp have turned opaque and are cooked through.  
  • Few restaurants serve this soup with tomatoes. To add those, add thin slices of roma tomato to the soup after pressure cooking, along with other vegetables.
  • To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, replace the chicken with extra firm tofu and add it after pressure cooking, along with vegetables. Replace the fish sauce with soy sauce.
  • To make this soup low-carb, skip the agave or palm sugar.
  • I have tested this recipe and quantity in a 3qt and 6qt pressure cooker.  This recipe can easily be doubled in a 6qt and 8qt pressure cooker. 
  • After pressure cooking, release pressure in bursts. What that means is, release pressure 1-2 seconds at a time, then stop.  Repeat this till most of the pressure has released and its intensity has gone down. This prevents the soup from spraying out of the pressure knob. 
  • How to avoid QR: Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins (NPR 10 mins). At this point, most of the pressure has released naturally and now when you do a quick release, it won’t be that impactful and long.
  • To freeze this soup, wait for it to cool down completely.  Pour it in an air-tight container and store it in the freezer for up to a month.
Top view of Tom Yum Soup served with lemon and cilantro as garnish

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Two bowls of Thai Tom Yum Soup with mushroom, chicken and carrots.

Tom Yum Soup – Instant Pot / Stove

An easy dump & start recipe for Tom yum Soup, a popular Thai hot and sour soup. Made with chicken and vegetables in a flavorful broth in just 30 minutes in the Instant Pot or Stove.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Aneesha

Ingredients

Pressure Cook

  • 4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup onion ,sliced (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms or button mushrooms, about 8oz.
  • 2 stocks lemongrass
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 lb chicken breast about 2 breast
  • 1 inch ginger or galangal, julienned (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce for vegetarian use soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp thai red curry paste

Add After Pressure Cooking

  • 4 tbsp lime juice fresh, About 1.5-2 limes
  • 1 cup baby corn canned or fresh
  • 1 cup carrots thinly sliced, about 1 carrot
  • 1 cup zucchini thinly sliced, about 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp agave or palm sugar (Optional-skip for low-carb soup)
  • 2 tsp sriracha or chili garlic sauce (Optional-skip for mild soup)

Instructions

Pressure Cook- Instant Pot

  • Add broth, water, chopped lemongrass, sliced ginger (or galangal), onions, mushrooms, fish sauce (see notes for substitute), red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves (see notes for substitute), and chicken breast to the cooking pot.
  • Close the lid and set pressure cook, or manual for 8 mins at high pressure.
  • Once the cooking is done, release pressure in bursts. What that means is, release pressure 1-2 seconds at a time, then stop.  Repeat this till most of the pressure has released and its intensity has gone down. This prevents the soup from spraying out of the pressure knob. 
  • Open the lid after the pin drops.

After Pressure Cooking

  • Using tongs, remove the lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaves. They are chewy and unpleasant to bite into so it's best to remove them.
  • Remove the chicken in a bowl and shred it using two forks. Shred it as thick or thin as you like.
  • Add fresh lime juice, carrots, baby corn and zucchini (or your preferred veggie combination). Add the shredded chicken back in. Add agave or palm sugar, stir and give it a taste to check for seasoning.
  • Add chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.

Optional Step

  • As an optional step, add 1 tbsp of sriracha to give it that extra kick. We love it and I recommend it if you like spice.

Stovetop Recipe for Tom Yum Soup

  • Heat a large soup pot on medium-high heat. Add broth, water, chopped lemongrass, sliced ginger (or galangal), onions, mushrooms, fish sauce (see notes for substitute), red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves (see notes for substitute), and chicken breast to the cooking pot.
  • Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreddable.
  • Using tongs, remove the lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaves. They are chewy and unpleasant to bite into so it's best to remove them.
  • Remove the chicken in a bowl and shred it using two forks. Shred it as thick or thin as you like.
  • Add fresh lime juice, carrots, baby corn and zucchini (or your preferred veggie combination). Add the shredded chicken back in.
  • Add agave or palm sugar, stir and give it a taste to check for seasoning. Add chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.

Video

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • I use crimini mushrooms in this recipe. Some other mushrooms that go well in this soup are button mushrooms, shiitake, straw mushrooms
  • I used a combination of 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth and 2 cups water.  You can use all broth, or all water. If using all broth, reduce salt to 1/2 tsp. If using all water, add an additional 1/4 tsp salt, check for seasoning at the end and adjust taste. 
  • I used chicken breast in this recipe. You can use other cuts of chicken too.  If using Chicken Thighs, reduce cooking time to 6 mins, Chicken Tenders= 5 mins; Chicken breast halves (thin Slices)= 7 mins. 
  • To use shrimp instead of chicken, pressure cook all ingredients listed under “pressure cook” (skip the chicken ;). Release pressure and add deveined and cleaned shrimp. Turn on saute mode and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp have turned opaque and are cooked through.  
  • Few restaurants serve this soup with tomatoes. To add those, add thin slices of roma tomato to the soup after pressure cooking, along with other vegetables.
  • To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, replace the chicken with extra firm tofu and add it after pressure cooking, along with vegetables. Replace the fish sauce with soy sauce.
  • To make this soup low-carb, skip the agave or palm sugar.
  • I have tested this recipe and quantity in a 3qt and 6qt pressure cooker.  This recipe can easily be doubled in a 6qt and 8qt pressure cooker. 
  • After pressure cooking, release pressure in bursts. What that means is, release pressure 1-2 seconds at a time, then stop.  Repeat this till most of the pressure has released and its intensity has gone down. This prevents the soup from spraying out of the pressure knob. 
  • How to avoid QR: Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins (NPR 10 mins). In that time, most of the pressure has released naturally and if you do a quick release at this point, it won’t be that impactful and long.
  • To freeze this soup, wait for it to cool down completely.  Pour it in an air-tight container and store it in the freezer for up to a month.
 
If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 1052mg | Potassium: 750mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4534IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: thai tom yum soup, tom yum recipe, tom yum soup
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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