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Tom Yum Kung (Paleo, Whole30, AIP friendly)

Soup Day

I set out to re-photograph my AIP Mahi Mahi Chowder … then realized I couldn’t use coconut milk because  the folks I was cooking for have a coconut allergy and then I just made a whole other soup. I think it’s so good though. A great AIP friendly option, which hey, leave out the cashew cream or add coconut milk if you want. It’s a soup kind of day around here. Crazy winds and rain. Crazy politics and I need to stay off of Facebook because I’m learning things about people that I like that I don’t want to know. You know it’s bad when you mother in law tries to bait you in a political Facebook debate. Nope. I will not bite. Lot’s of amazing things of my feed too. My heart swelled with pride (and my eyes with tears) and the images of millions of my sisters marching, showing the power of numbers and unity. Such an emotional roller coaster. Soup is indeed appropriate for days like these.

Sum Yung Gai

Ok, that’s kind of an inside joke. Growing up in Miami, there was always this one shady Chinese restaurant called Sum Yung Gai (which sounds like Some Young Guy) aaaannndddd since it was on south beach… we figured it was a front for some sort of prostituion ring. Ha! The things you grow up around in Miami. Anywho… this soups isn’t Chinese inspired, although the name reminds of of Sum Yung Gai. This soup is Thai Inspired. The traditional Tom Yum Kung is made of hearty chicken stock infused with lemon grass, full of veggies and spiked with chili peppers.

Here I’ve made a clean, simple version with easy to find ingredients and a hit of none nightshade spice. Whoot Whoot. The recipe makes a huge batch. Like 8-9 servings, so whip out the stock pot and add this goodness to your meal prep list.

The Breakdown

Let’s talk ingredients before we get into the recipe. I just want to clarify things and highlight easy substitution and alterations.

The Base: Bone broth and cashew butter.

You can also use: chicken stock, vegetable stock or any broth of choice. You can also use almond butter. You can omit the nut butter and use coconut milk (1-2 cups).

The seafood: I am partial to center cut mahi fillets. Shrimp is traditionally used for this soup. You can use tilapia, cod or any other white fish. You can use chicken, even pork.

The Vegetables: I used onion, carrot, garlic, ginger water chestnuts, bok choy, lemon and lots of cilantro. You can use any vegetables you want and omit the water chestnuts, if you’re doing low starch.

The Wasabi: If you don’t want the hint of spice, leave out the wasabi, which is just powdered horseradish.

I use this cashew butter

Or this coconut milk


Yields 8

Tom Yum Kung (Thai Seafood Soup without Coconut Milk)

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image


  • 2 tbsp fat
  • 4 cups bone broth (any kind you like)
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter (or 1 cup cashew creamer)
  • 3lbs white fish filet (no scales or bones)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large vidalia onion
  • 2 inch nub of garlic
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 baby bok choy
  • 2 cans water chestnuts
  • 3 lemons
  • To taste: fish sauce (I used about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tbsp wasabi powder


  • In a large stock pot heat 2 tbsp of fat on medium heat.
  • Small dice garlic, ginger, onions and carrots.
  • Once the pot is heated add add the diced veggies to the pot with the bay leaf.
  • Cook stirring occasionally until tender, about 8 minutes.
  • In the meantime cut your fish in to 1 inch pieces, and cut, wash and pull apart your bok choy.
  • Peel a few strips of lemon rind off of your lemons, add them to the pot.
  • Add the fish into the pot and stir well, until all the fish is seared.
  • Add in the salt and the cashew cream, fish sauce and wasabi powder. Mix well.
  • Add in the broth, bring to a boil, let it boil for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the bok choy, water chestnuts. Stir. Bring to a simmer.
  • Juice all your lemons. Set aside.
  • Let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Dice your cilantro.
  • Add in the lemon juice. Stir. Taste, adjust salt and needed. If you want it thinner, add in a cup of water.
  • Serve with plenty of fresh cilantro!

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21 Thoughts to “Tom Yum Kung (Paleo, Whole30, AIP friendly)”

  1. That broth base is gorgeous! I really want to make this!
    1. Thanks! I love the cloudy look the cashew butter gave it <3
  2. Yum I love Thai soups! I want this for dinner tonight. In 30 min, without having any of the ingredients... hmmm.... tomorrow perhaps? :-)
  3. I love Thai food and this Thai seafood soup sounds and looks simply amazing !!
  4. This sounds so delicious and full of flavor! I'm always looking for new recipes to try and I know my husband will love this one.
  5. This sounds so delicious and it's beautiful too! My husband and youngest would LOVE if I made this for them.
  6. This sounds delicious! So many amazing flavours
  7. Wow! Delicious. Great to see a Paleo complaint Thai soup.
  8. I feel like seafood soup is not something I make enough. this recipe looks great, thank you!
    1. I love seafood soup because of how quickly it comes together :)
  9. Wow! Who knew Whole 30 could be so interesting and flavorful.
  10. I'm going to have to try this very very soon! :)
  11. This looks fabulous! Love your bowls!
    1. Thank you! They're from a local potter!
  12. This is so perfect for me since I'm allergic to coconut! Can't wait to try it.
    1. Ah! Sorry about the coconut allergy, but glad to help :)
  13. I love Thai food and this looks so incredible, just like the kind of meal I could eat every single day and never get tired of it because there's just so much flavor going on!
    1. Thank you Kari! I feel the same way!

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