Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Hello Everyone! Today’s post will be a simple one – well at first before even tackling the recipe, I thought it’d be a complicated and labour-intensive process. Actually, it took a while to finely chop up the garlic, onions, galangal, and ginger as I did not have a food processor to do it all for me in a jiffy; nonetheless, it helped me improve on my chopping skills (probably not really).

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Tom Yum is one of the first Thai dishes that I learned to love, and it was probably from this dish that I slowly started to love chillies and the kick of spice it gave to my palette. In fact, Chicken Tom Yum was the very first Thai dishes that I learnt to cook from my auntie, who is Thai; but at that time I still used pre-packed tom yum paste from the supermarkets. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that I wanted to learn how to make my own tom yum paste – and quite a success I might add! The flavours were obviously tastier and had more kick than store-bought paste, and very easy to make as well! The opportunities are endless with this paste; you can use it to make a tom yum broth to accompany various meats such as chicken, pork, prawns, fish, and mixed seafood’s including clams and squid, or you can use it as a seasoning to various dishes. The original recipe can be found at Pickyin.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste Ingredients


*What I normally do is place about a tablespoon of the paste in small plastic bags and place them into the freezer. Each time I make a dish that requires Tom Yum Paste, I defrost a bag (or two) depending on how many I need. This is how I keep my batch on Tom Yum Paste without the need for additives or preservatives to keep them on the shelf/fridge.


  • 250g chili paste (from soaked, deseeded and blended dry chilies)**
  • 20g shrimp paste (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup tamarind pulp water
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 inches ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 inches galangal, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp ground coriander

**I couldn’t be bothered to deseed each and every dried chilli, so I ended up adding the seeds in. I’m not sure if you can buy already deseeded dried chillies in stores, but I could not find any myself. I mean, if you want the heat then by all means leave the seeds in – caution though, very hot!


  1. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a medium-sized frying pan, and then add in the onions, garlic, galangal, and ginger. Sauté until softened and slightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside, leaving the remaining oils in the pan.
  2. In the same pan, add the chilli paste, kaffir lime leaves, lemonsgrass, coriander, shrimp paste, fish sauce, tamarind water, and brown sugar. Cook until the mixture slightly thickens before adding the other fried ingredients into the chilli mixture.
  3. Continue frying until the paste is thick and the oil starts to separate from chilli and surfaces. Set aside to cool down before sealing them in jars/cans. The paste can keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for a few months.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste


– Ally xx



10 thoughts on “Homemade Tom Yum Paste

  1. Hi… Great recipe… There’s a trick do deseeding dried chilies effortlessly, snip each chili into a heatproof bowl with a pair of scissors into thirds (the smaller the cut the easier the seeds drop out)… Add enough boiling hot water to the cut chilies to cover let soak about 10 minutes, give it a rough mix with a spatula (actually best done with a gloved hand as more seeds will dislodge)… Using that gloved hand grab handfuls of soaked pulp into a colander (all seeds will be at the bottom of bowl) ok so it does a bit of effort but makes for a less fiery chili paste

    • Hello Adam! Thank you for the tip! I’ll sure try this out when I get around to making more chili paste 🙂 to be honest, I don’t actually mind the firey sensation haha!

  2. Thanks, I can’t wait to try it!
    Regarding the seeds, I advise removing them if you want to keep the paste for a longer time.

    • Hi Fred! I don’t actually know much about additives or preservatives so I do apologise that I can’t make any recommendations for you. What I do when I make this paste is divide them into small bags with about a tablespoon of the paste and freeze them for up to 3 months. Whenever I want to use the paste, I just defrost a bag at a time 🙂

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