Chrissy Teigen on Her Tom Yom Soup: 'Thank God You Can't Taste Instagram'

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Call it the #PinterestFail phenomenon: As Chrissy Teigen experienced last week, sometimes recipes just don’t turn out the way you plan.

The swimsuit model, food blogger and wife of John Legend documented on her Instagram and Twitter what we thought was a successful attempt at making Tom Yum Soup from The Original Thai Cookbook. But at the Yoplait event at NYCWFF‘s Burger Bash, we heard a different story.

“Thank god you can’t taste Instagram because it was really bad!” Teigen told PEOPLE during an exclusive interview. Turns out, the soup was better left in the bowl.

“I didn’t serve it to anyone!” she exclaimed. “What you saw seemed like the whole process, but I accidentally used parsley instead of cilantro and my mushrooms were old or something and totally ruined the flavor of the soup.” Whoops.

Teigen continued to joke, “My mom makes Tom Yum in two seconds and for me it was a three hour project.” Online, however, we saw a different – and much more polished – story.

The cookbook, which she bought on eBay for only $3, has “no pics, no frills, just good, authentic Thai,” she said on Instagram.

During Teigen’s botched #cakegate misadventure in March, we knew every step of the way that she was struggling. This time, she at least appeared to be quite calm from start to finish, chopping up all the ingredients beforehand.

“Making Tom Yum from my favorite Thai cookbook, The Original Thai Cookbook by Jennifer Brennan,” she posted. “No pics, no frills, just good, authentic thai! My sister has the one I grew up with so I found one on eBay for 3 bucks. Get!”

Yes, she accidentally purchased parsley instead of cilantro, but thankfully she realized her mistake before making the irreversible error of actually adding it to the pot. She hates parsley and used some NSFW language to express her feelings on Twitter.

Next, she shared the pro tip of frying shrimp shells in oil in order to make great — not just good — Tom Yum soup. Well, that was the idea at least.

“The difference between good tom yum and great tom yum – I love frying the shells in a bit of oil, then pouring in chicken or vegetable broth to simmer, then strain and chuck the shells! Flavor country,” she said.

And then she made up a song (an ode to soup, if you will) to entertain herself while she stirred the pot.

Before the soup was done, she took a quick break (as all chefs do) to play with her dog.

Despite her admitted mistakes, the finished product looks absolutely delicious, full of lemongrass and shrimp. “Tipping some for you JB,” she toasted to the cookbook’s author before tasting (and spitting out?) her completed concoction.

Want to try your hand at a Thai-style soup? Make the recipe below, from The Original Thai Cookbook.

Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Goong)
Makes 6-8 servings

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Shells from shrimp (see below)
8 cups chicken stock
1½ teaspoons salt
3 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1” lengths
4 citrus leaves
1 tsp. lime zest, slivered
2 green Serrano chilies, slivered
2 lbs. fresh (green) shrimp (approximately 20 count per pound), shelled and deveined
1 tbsp. fish sauce (Nam Pla)
Juice of 2 limes
1 red Serrano chili, slivered
2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
3 green onions (including some green), coarsely chopped

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the shrimp shells until they turn pink. Add the chicken stock, salt, lemongrass, citrus leaves, lime rind and green chilies.

2. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and bring to a boil.

3. Add the shrimp to this boiling “stock” and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and add the fish sauce and lime juice.

4. Stir and immediately remove from heat to prevent overcooking.

5. Pour the soup in a tureen, sprinkle with red chilies, coriander leaves and green onions. Serve piping-hot.

—Rosa Heyman


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