Fragrant Thai hot and sour prawn soup (Tom Yam Goong) with noodles

Low G.I. recipe to replace lost nutrients

Tom Yam Goong is a wonderfully chili-hot soup which combines the sweet, sour, salty and hot characteristics of Thai cooking perfectly. Add rice or buckwheat noodles for a higher carb ‘runner's version'. The soup is refreshing, tastes exotic and is surprisingly easy to make.

Fragrant Thai hot and sour prawn soup (Tom Yam Goong) with noodles

The great things about thsi recipe is that the noodles are high in low G.I. slow-burning carbohydrate, the broth is full of antioxidants and will increase your sodium intake if you need to replace lost salts after a sweaty workout. The prawns are an excellent source of protein and minerals such as selenium, iron, zinc and magnesium.  You can add extra vegetables such as peppers or mange tout if you like.


1. Peel the raw prawns (pack of raw frozen prawns (defrosted) is a good alternative), remove the dark vein and set aside. Place the shells and heads in a pan with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Strain the stock and discard the shells. Bring the stock to the boil again and add the lime leaves (alternatively, use zest of 2 limes, plus juice of ½ a lime), ginger and lemon grass (outer layers of the lemongrass removed, inner parts bashed with a rolling pin to release the flavor).

3. Boil rapidly for several minutes and then turn down to a low heat.

4. Add the mushrooms, tomato, spring onions and chili paste and chillis.

5. Cook the noodles according to the pack instructions in a separate pan and drain.

6. Add the prawns to the stock pan, then the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes until the prawns turn pink. Adjust the flavor with more chili sauce, fish sauce, sugar or lime juice if necessary. Remove the lemon grass, as this is not nice to eat, then add the noodles.

7. Stir in the fresh coriander and serve. You could serve some extra chillis on the side if you like a bit of extra heat ...


  • 250g raw, unpeeled prawns
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced very finely
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-1½ tbs Thai fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 75g finely sliced mushrooms (any type)
  • 1 tomato, chopped (optional — adds texture)
  • 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • ½ tsp chilli paste
  • 1-2 red chillis, chopped finely, seeds removed if very hot
  • 1-1½ tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Bunch of fresh coriander, freshly chopped
  • 125g noodles (such as Thai rice noodles, soba or buckwheat noodles)

Vital Statistics

Serves: 2
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy — a little chopping for the preparation
Good for: Replacing lost nutrients after a hot, sweaty workout

Calories (kcal): 403.6
Protein (g): 28.7
Carbs (g): 68.4
Fat (g): 1.9
Fiber (g): 2

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