Prawn, starfruit and lemongrass tom yam

Hendy Alastair Hendy's sophisticated version of a classic hot and sour Thai soup makes a great first course
By Alastair Hendy
Prawn, starfruit and lemongrass tom yam
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 2 stems lemongrass, trimmed and smashed open
  • 4 cm galangal or ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 star-fruit, sliced
  • 8 lime leaves
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2-4 bird's eye chillies, split lengthways
  • 12 large cooked tiger prawns, shells on
  • 4 small tomatoes, quartered
  • coriander leaves, to garnish

To serve:

  • chilli powder
  • toasted shrimp paste mashed with dried red chilli flakes, (optional)


1. In a large saucepan, simmer the stock with the smashed lemongrass, galangal, and 4 of the lime leaves for about 8 minutes.

2. Stir in half the fish sauce, half the lime juice, half the sugar and half of the chillies and leave to bubble for 5 minutes.

3. Taste the soup and add more fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and chillies until the soup is hot and sour to your liking.

4. Shell the prawns, keeping the tail ends on, then add to the soup and warm through.

5. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, star fruit, and the remaining kaffir lime leave. Remove from direct heat and leave to infuse for 2 minutes.

6. Divide the soup between the 4 bowls, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve. Serve with extra ground chilli or toasted shrimp paste mashed with chilli flakes if desired.

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