Tom Yum Koong (Hot Sour Soup)
Tom Yum is probably the most famous of Thai soups and is popular not only in Thailand but in Thai restaurants worldwide. It is a clear, sour soup flavored with fragrant lemon grass, fresh galangal root, and kaffir lime leaf. This potent herbal mixture is well known for its medicinal properties.
Tom Yum Goong is the most well-known variety of Tom Yum and makes use of shrimp (in Thai: goong or kung) as the main ingredient of the dish but you may also use firm flesh fish (see Tom Yum Taleh), chicken (see Tom Yum Gai) or mushrooms for a vegetarian version.
Tom Yum Koong
Tom Yum herbs
4 cups of water
2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, trim off the very end of the root and smash with the side of a cleaver or chef’s knife; cut into 1 inch pieces; or 2 pieces dried
3 slices fresh galangal root (smashed) or 2 pieces dried
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves or 4 pieces dried
1 tbsp. tamarind paste, with or without seeds
1 tbsp. fish sauce, Golden Boy brand preferred
3/4 lbs of shrimp, medium to large size, shelled and de-veined; butterfly if desired
12 fresh Thai chili peppers, whole or 2 medium sized jalepenos, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips.
1/2 small white onion, cut 1/4 inch slices
2 tbsp. roasted chili paste (nam prik pao)
1 (16 oz.) can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick
1 small lime, squeezed
2 sprigs fresh cilantro
Bring water to boil over high heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce, and tamarind paste (break apart the tamarind paste with your fingers as you add it). Add the shrimp, bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Add the onion, nam prik pao and straw mushrooms. Boil for another 7 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the chile peppers and tomatoes. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice. Taste to adjust the seasoning, adding fish sauce to taste. Garnish with cilatantro, roasted whole chili peppers, and a splash of coconut milk if desired and serve hot.
Serves 3 to 4.
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