Tom Yum soup is one of Thailand’s most famous soups. This soup is widely servedin Thailand, as well as Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The soup consists of a basic broth (typically shrimp) and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed red peppers.  Topped with shrimp, this soothing soup is the Thai answer to “mom’s chicken noodle.”

Literally, the name “tom yam” derives from two Thai words: “tom” and “yam”. “Tom” refers to the boiling process, while “yam” refers to a Thai spicy and sour salad. Indeed, tom yum has distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant spices and herbs generously used in the broth.

Not only is it delicious, this soup is alos known for it’s medicinal properties. In fact, the ingredients in this soup can even cure cancer! Several photochemicals, such as carotinoids, flavornoids, or anti-oxidative vitamins are widely known to reduce cancer risk. Edible plants used in Thai cuisine were tested for anti-tumor promoting activity. It was found that 60% of these plants’ methanol extracts inhibited Ebstein-Barr Virus by 30% or more. And many of these plants are served with Tom Yum soup.