A Brief History of Tom Yum Soup in Thailand

July 10, 2023
IN On the Menu

Looking for something delicious for dinner? Try a bowl of Tom Yum soup. 

Tom Yum soup is a beloved dish of Thai cuisine that is known for its bold and spicy flavors. The soup has a rich history that dates back centuries. It has evolved over time to become the delicious and popular dish that it is today.

What is the history of tom yum soup? What do you want to know about where it came from? Read on and we’ll walk you through a brief background on one of our favorite Thai dishes. 

Origin of Tom Yum Soup

The origin of Tom Yum soup is somewhat unclear, but it is widely believed to have originated in central Thailand. The popular soup option was traditionally made with freshwater shrimp, which were abundant in the rivers and streams of central Thailand.

Over time, the soup began incorporating other ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chili peppers.

One theory about the origin of Tom Yum soup is that it was created by royal chefs in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The kingdom was founded in the mid-14th century.

The Ayutthaya Kingdom was known for its lavish cuisine, and it is believed that the king’s chefs created Tom Yum soup as a way to showcase the flavors of the local ingredients.

Another theory is that Tom Yum soup was created by rural farmers who used abundant herbs and spices in their cooking.

Regardless of its origins, Tom Yum soup quickly became a staple in Thai cuisine and spread throughout the country.

Variations of Tom Yum Soup

Today, there are many different variations of Tom Yum soup, each with its own unique flavor profile.

Some versions are made with seafood such as shrimp, squid, or fish, while others are made with chicken or mushrooms. The soup can be served clear or creamy and is often garnished with fresh herbs and lime juice.

One of the most popular variations of Tom Yum soup is Tom Yum Goong, which is made with shrimp, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chili peppers, fish sauce, and lime juice.

This soup is known for its spicy and sour flavors, which are balanced by the sweetness of the shrimp.

Another popular variation is Tom Kha Gai, which is made with chicken, coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chili peppers. This soup is milder than Tom Yum Goong and has a creamy and slightly sweet flavor.

In recent years, Tom Yum soup has become popular outside of Thailand. It can now be found in many Thai restaurants worldwide.

The soup has even been featured in popular culture, with celebrity chefs such as Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay praising its bold flavors and unique taste.

History of Tom Yum Soup

Of the many Thai soups out there, the one that might be the most popular is the much beloved Tom Yum Soup. If you’re curious about the history of this popular dish, the above information can give ample background.Ready to try some for yourself? Check out our menu and place an order.

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