This recipe is inspired by the traditional Thai Tom Yam Goong. In addition, the idea of tom yam cavier came about when I was watching my daughter happily playing her colourful Orbeez (small, round clear colour balls made from superabsorbent polymers) with her play syringe.

The Tom yam cavier is an interesting way to add a touch of molecular gastronomy to this appetiser. I  simply use the cold oil spherification method to transform the tom yam soup into caviar-like spheres. Making this was so much fun, yet not difficult at all and it is tasty too!

This prawn dish is well balanced with the tangy, spicy tom yam cavier, fragrant lemongrass infused coconut cream and the refreshing sliced cucumber.

It is definitely an exciting dish to be served as an appetiser or starter to your guests at gatherings and parties.


Prawns with Tom Yam cavier and lemongrass infused coconut cream


Tom yam soup

  1. 2 tom yam stock cubes mixed with 1 litre water
  2. 400g frozen prawns/ fresh raw prawns (de-shelled and deveined)
  3. 1 can straw mushrooms (cut mushrooms into halves)
  4. 4 shallots (sliced)
  5. 2 clove garlic (chopped)
  6. 6 kaffir lime leaves
  7. 6 thin slices of galangal
  8. 2 stalks of lemon grass (bruised and cut into quarters)
  9. 2 red chilli padi
  10. 1 tsp fish sauce
  11. 1 lime (squeeze and reserve juice)

Tom yam cavier

  1. 500ml oil
  2. 600ml tom yam soup
  3. 20g agar agar strips

Tom yam glaze

  1. 300ml tom yam soup
  2. 1 tsp potato starch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Lemongrass infused coconut cream

  1. 200ml coconut cream
  2. 4 stalks of lemongrass(bruised and cut into quarters)


  1. 1 cucumber (sliced thinly)
  2. 1 red chilli padi (deseeded and chopped thinly)
  3. 2 sprigs of coriander leaves (chopped)
  4. 1/4 lemongrass (sliced thinly)


Tom yam soup

  1. Boil tom yam stock with in a pot.
  2. Add shallots, garlic, lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, chilli padi and fish sauce into the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add prawns and straw mushroom. Poach will cooked.
  4. Remove prawns and mushroom. Chill in fridge.
  5. Add lime juice into soup.
  6. Pass the soup through a sieve and return soup into the pot.

Tom yam cavier


  1. Soak agar agar strips in water to soften for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour oil in a bottle or tall glass. Leave in fridge for 20 mins till liquid cold but not solidified.
  3. Drain agar agar strips and add into hot tom yam soup.
  4. Stir till agar agar is dissolved into soup.
  5. Wait a few minutes until the temperature drops to 50-55 degrees. If the liquid is too hot, the droplets may not cool down enough and therefore not gel completely before reaching the bottom of the glass resulting in deformed spheres.
  6. Fill a syringe with the tom yam agar agar mixture and expel it drop by drop into the cold oil. The syringe needs to be high enough for the drops to sink when they get in contact with the oil but not too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating “baby” spheres.
  7. Wait for a few minutes and then remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon or passing them through a sieve and rinse them in water. Set aside.

Tom yam glaze

  1. Add hot tom yam soup with potato starch mixture.
  2. Stir will mixture thickens. Set aside.

Lemongrass infused coconut cream

  1. Heat coconut cream with lemongrass till slight boil.
  2. Remove from heat after 5 minutes and set aside.


  1. Place sliced cucumber on the serving plate.
  2. Place prawns and mushrooms onto the cucumbers and brush with tom yam glaze.
  3. Add tom yam cavier top of the glazed prawns and mushrooms.
  4. Add droplets of coconut cream around the side.
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves, red chilli and lemongrass.