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Tom Yum Paste

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sherri Pengjad
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


Short on time, but want Tom Yum packed flavor in your weeknight dinners? Discover all the secrets to making your own easy Tom Yum Paste!



37 Dried red Thai chili peppers, depending on spicy preference, de-seeded, and minced

3 Dried Guajillo chilies, de-seeded and minced

1 tsp. salt

4 Lemongrass stalks, minced

1 tbsp.Galangal, (about a 2 in. piece, no need to peel) minced

2 shallots, minced

2 tbsp. garlic, minced

1 tbsp. cilantro stems, minced

6 Kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and minced

1 tsp. White pepper powder

1 tsp. coriander powder

4 tbsp.Tamarind paste

1 lime, zested and juiced, about 1 tsp lime zest and 1 tbsp lime juice 

2 tspShrimp paste

1 tbspFish sauce

2 tbspPalm sugar


Remove the seeds from the Thai chilies by cutting them in half, and taking out the seeds.

For the Guajillo chilies, remove the stem and shake out the seeds, or cut in them in half, and scoop out the seeds.

(You might want to wear gloves when deseeding the chilies just to make sure you don’t accidentally touch your eyes after touching the chilies. I don’t normally wear gloves, and I just try to remember not to touch my face, but do what you need to do!)

Soak the chilies in hot water for 10 minutes, or until they are soft. Take out the chilies, but keep the water to use when blending the ingredients.

Make sure you finely chop all the ingredients to make it easier to blend them into a paste.

Mortar and Pestle Method:

Add the chilies and salt to a mortar and pestle. The salt not only helps with seasoning, but will also help break down the chilies. Pound them until they start to become a paste.

Then add the harder to break down ingredients to your mortar and pestle, like the lemongrass, and galangal.

Once those have become more of a paste, add the shallots, and garlic, until those have been incorporated.

Then add the cilantro stems, kaffir lime leaves, coriander powder and white pepper powder and mix them in.

Add the tamarind paste, lime juice, lime zest, shrimp paste, fish sauce and palm sugar and mix until everything is completely incorporated.

Mini Food Chopper

Add all the ingredients to the chopper, and a few tablespoons of the chili soaking liquid. Keep adding the liquid as needed to help break down the ingredients until they have reached a paste that looks similar to the one in the pictures in the post.

To use the Tom Yum paste for Tom Yum Soup, add 2-3 tbsp of Tom Yum paste per 1 cup of water, add more to taste.

To use the Tom Yum paste for Tom Yum Fried Rice or Tom Yum Pasta, add 3 tablespoons or more to the dish instead of where you’d normally add the fresh Thai ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, Thai chilies and kaffir limes.


For more in depth into, look above in the blog post under the headings: Substitutions, or Additions, and Recipe Tips and Tricks.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 3
  • Category: Paste
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: Tom Yum paste, Tom Yum paste recipe, Tom Yum Soup paste, Tom Yum paste for pasta, Tom Yum paste ingredients, homemade Tom Yum paste, Tom Yum pasta, Tom Yum fried rice