Royal Cuisine: Tom yum kung
Tom yum kung
No one knows the exact origins of Thailand’s – arguably – most famous dish, the tom yum kung.
The first record of ‘tom yum’ was found in an 1888 document, from the reign of King Rama V, but it referred to fish, not to prawns.
It wasn’t until 1964 that tom yum surfaced in M.R. Kittinada Kittiyakorn’s book ‘Royal Cuisine’. M.R. Kittinada was renowned for his knowledge of Thai cuisine, and he wrote about a dish he himself had recently served at their majesties’ palace Klai Kangwon (Far from Worries) in Hua Hin.
HM Queen Sirikit had asked him to present her with a meal and he found fresh local shrimps and created what is now the iconic Thai dish.
“Tom yum kung is one of our biggest hit dishes here at Somtum House. We serve our large prawns and mixed mushrooms in a rich broth. We don’t use MSG and assure you all that this is a very healthy dish.” Somtum House (Tel. 094 629 1596)