Tom Yum Hotpot_featured

Tom Yum Hotpot: A delicious way to enjoy Tom Yum soup

Tom Yum soup is a Thai dish known to be flavorful and fragrant. Having said that, the tastiness of its soup needs no further introduction. In this post, we want to talk about the use of Tom Yum soup in hotpot. Previously, we have talked about Tom Yum application in Tom Yum noodle and also Tom Yum instant noodle (like Tom Yum Mama instant noodle). Hotpot is another popular Asian “dish” across many Asian countries. So, what is it like when we combine Tom Yum soup and hotpot together i.e. Tom Yum hotpot? Learn more in this article if you are curious!

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Hotpot: What kind of dish is this?

Hot pot meal

Hotpot is a popular Asian dish where a boiling pot of soup is served at a dining table such that the hot soup can be left simmered at the table. Diners then cook raw ingredients such as fresh meat, fresh vegetables, meat balls, tofu, fish balls, etc. in the soup. The combination of the soup and the fresh ingredients as well as the different combo of hotpot sauces makes eating hotpot a really tasty affair.

We love hotpot meals as we get to sit around, enjoy fresh ingredients, customize our sauces and enjoy conversations with friends and families. Hotpot is a popular Asian dish that is typically consumed during get-together events. Having said that, you will find variations of this dish in many Asian countries:

  • Korea: Bulgogi Jeongol / Budae Jjigae
  • Japan: Shabu-shabu / sukiyaki
  • China: Huo Guo
  • Singapore: Steamboat
  • Thailand: Jim Jum / Tom Yum hotpot

Is Tom Yum hotpot delicious?

Tom yum hotpot

The answer is: absolutely! Similar to Tom Yum soup or Tom Yum noodle, Tom Yum hotpot is made of broth full of herbs like lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chili, etc. The soup itself is mainly spicy and sour, but has a bit of sweet taste as well. 

Such a soup is a perfect match with fresh meat like beef/pork, as well as seafood such as shrimp/prawn or squid. Most vegetables would go well with Tom Yum hotpot as well. However, if you prefer your vegetables to not soak in too much of the Tom Yum soup, many restaurants would also allow you to split your hotpot into half. This way, you can have an option to have a clearer broth (milder tasting soup) in the other half. 

While restaurants in Thailand would give you sauces to go with your Tom Yum hotpot meal, we think the Tom Yum soup itself already adds enough flavor to the fresh ingredients. Hence, we typically refrain from using the sauce and simply enjoy the Tom Yum taste on the different hotpot ingredients.

Where can you try this kind of hotpot in Thailand?

There are a couple of top recommendations that we want to introduce here. These places have consistent quality and are tourist-friendly as well.

MK restaurants: This is the first and easiest option. MK Restaurants is Thailand’s largest hotpot chain with more than 400 branches across the country. MK Restaurants is known for their fresh ingredients and they have managed to maintain their quality across their branches.

Coca: An authentic Thai brand (they also own the Mango Tree brand) with history dated back to 1957. Today, Coca has a presence in 12 countries around the world. Another brand that will not disappoint you.

The above two names are our general recommendation as they are also foreigner friendly. But there actually are a lot of small hotpot/shabu-shabu operators in Thailand who also offer Tom Yum soup in their hotpot. Usually they exist as a standalone shop and they may not have an English menu. We can’t speak for their quality as there are so many of them. However, Google Map is your best friend if you want to check their reviews first before visiting the place.

Can you make this Tom Yum dish at home?

Absolutely, but you will need to prepare the necessary ingredients and Thai herbs for the Tom Yum soup. The typical ones include: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallot, fresh chili, lime, fish sauce, and Thai chili paste. Apart from that, you will need fresh meat/vegetables to go with your hotpot. Wongnai has an interesting recipe for Tom Yum hotpot here. There is also a video with English subtitle available. 

Is Tom Yum hotpot worth trying?

Definitely. If you love Tom Yum and herbs/spices that Tom Yum has, this dish is for you. Also, if you have not tried hotpot at all (maybe you are new to Asia), this is also a good first hotpot dish to have! There are multitudes of hotpot soups out there, and Tom Yum soup is one of them – and our favorite too! Pick a reputable place, because the raw ingredients quality can make or break your hotpot experience, whether it is Tom Yum hotpot or other types of hotpot. 

It can be cheaper to have it at home if you are to eat the hotpot with your family members. You just need to make sure you have a good quality Tom Yum soup, quality raw ingredients, and the hotpot apparatus. Hotpot is such a fun get-together activity. Enjoy your hotpot!

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