Tom Yum Goong

I only have one regret about our trip to Thailand: that I did not discover this soup until two days before we left.

Amber_Howe_Tom_Yum_Goong

Our last two days were spent in an area called Korat, where we had the opportunity to teach English to schoolchildren (more about this here).  Our translators, knowing the area well, suggested we walk to a restaurant that was close to our hotel for dinner.

Amber_Howe_White_Rabbit_Korat_ThailandI liked this place because we sat outside and they had a wide array of fresh seafood dishes.

Amber_Howe_White_rabbit_Korat_Thailand_restaurant

amber_Howe_ShrimpontheBarbie

These girls recommended the eatery, and none of us were disappointed (they always chose the best dishes on the menu):

Amber_Howe_TranslatorsAfter we returned to the states, I decided to find a recipe for Tom Yum (or “Tom Yam”) Goong.

Amber_Howe_White_Rabbit_Korat_Thailand_Tom_Yum_GoongI have made it several times at home, and have tweeked it to fit our personal taste.  It’s a super simple recipe and the flavors are awesome! It can be very spicy, so this is not for the faint at heart.

Tom Yum Goong (Thai Hot & Sour Soup)

 

Ingredients:

6 cups veggie stock  (see my post about making your own)

3 TBS Tom Yum Paste

4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed

5 stalks of lemon grass, finely chopped (see here for instructions on how to do this)

4 kaffir lime leaves

6-8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, any kind (we used baby portabellas)

3-sh TBS fresh lime juice

2 Thai chiles, chopped finely (or more or less to taste)

1 bundle fresh cilantro

 fish sauce, optional

 

My version is vegetarian, although you could easily add fish of any kind (like the authentic Thai version I ate), chicken or tofu.  Also, I think a bit of coconut milk would be delicious in this.

I bought a giant bag of Thai chiles, a bag of kaffir lime leaves and my lemongrass at a local Asian market.  I am sure the prices were cheaper than a regular grocery store too.  The chiles have stored well in my fridge for weeks now and the lime leaves I keep in my freezer along with the lemongrass.

1.  Bring the stock to a boil, then add Tom Yum paste and garlic. Mix well.

vegetarian_Tom_Yum_Paste
I found this vegetarian version at my local Asian market (“Tri’s” in Amarillo)

2.  Let simmer for about 2-5 minutes, then add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

3.  Add the chiles (I wash them and then using scissors, cut tiny pieces directly into the saucepan.  This eliminates getting hot pepper juice all over the cutting board and my hands) and the mushrooms.  Simmer until the texture of the mushrooms are to your liking.

Amber_Howe_Tom_Yum_Goong_Soup_cooking

3.  Throw cilantro (you can also use a mix of cilantro and Thai basil or just the basil) in at the very end and dish into bowls.  Add fish sauce if you like.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is flexible.  You can add more veggies like broccoli, carrots, squash or bell peppers-anything you like!  One of my favorite quick meals lately is to throw lime leaves in broth along with a few chiles, some chopped greens and rice or ramen noodles.  Kimchi is lovely to throw in the bowl with it too!  This broth makes a great base. I  have become a bit obssessd with the lime leaves.  I will keep a baggy on-hand from now on!

Amber_Howe_Tom_Yum_Goong_Soup

I can’t believe that we are already on the heels of Fall!  Do any of you have a quick and easy soup recipe that makes it to your home menu often?  I’d love to hear about it.

 

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3 thoughts on “Tom Yum Goong

  1. Looks yummy Amber. I’ve probably already shared this one, but this is my favorite. I use vegetable broth and I don’t put the chicken in.Indian Mulligatawney Soup
    From Bakery Lane Soup Bowl ***

    1 TBS OIL 1-1/2 tsp CURRY POWDER
    2 TBS BUTTER 6 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK
    3/4 CUP CHOPPED ONION 1 TBS CORNSTARCH
    3/4 CUP CHOPPED CARROT 1/4 CUP COLD WATER
    3/4 CUP CHOPPED CELERY 1/4 CUP TOMATO PASTE
    2/3 CUP CHOPPED GREEN PEPPER 2 CUPS DICED COOKED CHICKEN
    1/2 CUP CHOPPED TURNIP 1-1/2 CUPS PUREED GARBANZO BEANS **
    3/4 CUP CHOPPED APPLE CHOPPED PARSLEY
    2 tsp SALT
    1/2 tsp CRUSHED RED PEPPER

    HEAT OIL AND BUTTER IN SAUCEPAN. ADD CHOPPED VEGETABLES AND APPLES, SALT, RED PEPPER AND CURRY POWDER. COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY, UNTIL ONIONS ARE ALMOST TENDER.

    MEANWHILE, HEAT STOCK TO BOILING POINT. MAKE A SMOOTH PASTE OF CORN-STARCH AND WATER. ADD TO STOCK, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, UNTIL STOCK RETURNS TO BOIL. ADD TO SAUTEED VEGETABLES AND REMAINING INGREDIENTS, EXCEPT PARSLEY. HEAT TO SERVING TEMPERATURE. SERVE GARNISHED WITH CHOPPED PARSLEY. MAKES 9 CUPS.

    ** CANNED OR COOKED DRIED GARBANZOS MAY BE USED. IF USING DRIED, SOAK 1/2 CUP DRIED BEANS OVERNIGHT IN COLD WATER. COOK SOAKED BEANS UNTIL TENDER, THEN BLEND IN BLENDER UNTIL VERY SMOOTH.

    *** Note from Dianne & Pete: The Bakery Lane Soup Bowl and Soup Bowl West, both by Marge Mitchell, are two recipe books which should on every kitchen shelf! They are both out of print, but can be found online at used booksellers such as Amazon.com or http://www.abebooks.com
    Highly recommended.

  2. Oh yum, that must be why it is called Tom Yum, I just got that. It looks glorious. Must try it, will try it…..can’t wait…..

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