Dtom Yam Gkoong (Prawn Soup with Oyster Mushrooms)

These are very hot little firecrackers from the orient. They can be used to add spice to almost any oriental dish. They dry very easily and can be stored and used this way for a long time.

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1/2 pound large shrimp
1 tsp. lemon grass
1 tsp. galangal
juice of 1 lime
3 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
6 medium chiles de arbol, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste
6 medium Thai chiles, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. chile paste
3 Tbsp. tamarind juice
1 pound oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
juice of 2 limes


Bring the stock, galangal, and juice of 1 lime to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the fish sauce, dried chiles, fresh chiles and onion. Simmer for 10 minutes, and add the chile paste, tamarind juice and mushrooms.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then add the shrimp, salt, pepper, tomato and green onions. Simmer the soup until the shrimp are done, about 5 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and add the cilantro and lime juice. Serve the soup, ladled into individual bowls, and topped with a spoonful of basmati rice.

Recipe adapted from “Dancing Shrimp” by Kasma Loha-Unchit.

Yields 4 servings.