Soup from Heaven Thai Tom Yam with Starfruit


These wonderful looking fruit used to grow wild in our village. We children would pluck the sour fruit and dip them in a mixture of salt, sugar and chilli powder. Happy memories.



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


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.
To serve:

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

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