Friday, February 25, 2011

Tom-Yum-Kung : spicy and sour shrimp soup.

Tom Yum Kung

         Another famous Thai soup that has gone international!!! Tom-yum made from 2 words in Thai.  Tom means soup and yum means sour and spicy salad, so if you hear tom-yum that means spicy and sour soup, but the most famous kind is shrimp or “Kung” but you can use any kind of meat you like (pork, chicken, fish, seafood).  Almost every Thai restaurant in America has to have it, but not too many make it tasty like the original.  Also they have 2 kinds in Thailand.  One has milk (for shrimp and fish) and another one is without milk (tastes spicier).  The key of tom yum is galangal, Lemon grass and Kaffir leaf.  If you don’t have those 3 we don’t call it tom-yum (it’s going to taste just like sour & spicy water!).  I know it is hard to find it in a grocery store.  You can find them at Thai grocery stores, but trust me it’s worth it to find in a Thai grocery store.  In GA I have found them in a frozen version.  They still almost have the same amount of freshness (but the fresh is still the best!).  Anyway If you really cannot find it, use tom yum paste or tom yum cube (but I still recommend the real thing, it tastes way better). Also the original recipe calls Num-Prik-Pow for seasoning. Num-Prick-Pow is a special Thai chili paste (Not like curry paste) and is made with dried chilis, shallots, garlic, shrimp, tamarind juice and sugar then pan fried.  The paste itself has chili oil in it (comes from pan fried) tastes sweet and is not too spicy (for Thai people).  A lot of Thai folk mix Num-Prik-Pow with rice and eat it with a hard boil egg and vegetables just like that.  You can find it in an Asian grocery store, but if it is too much trouble to find them all just leave those ingredients out of the recipe.

Tom yum kung
½ pound Shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
4 Kaffir leaves (Tear it about 4 pieces per one leaf)
1 lemon grass (pound and cut into 1 inches)
2 pieces galangal (pound)
1 cup mushroom
1 ½  cup water or chicken broth or seafood broth
1 tbsp. fresh Thai chili (pound or chop)
1 lime juice (about 3 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Num-Prik-Pow (special Thai chili paste)
½  cup of half & half (optional for creamier)
1  tsp.  Cilantro

Cooking Instructions:
1.      In the medium pot bring water or chicken broth or seafood broth to boil add galangal, Lemon grass, Kaffir leaf let boil about 2-3 minute for aroma from herb season the soup.

2.      Add shrimp cook about 2-3 minute or until it cooked.
3.      Add mushroom bring it to boil.
4.      Add chili and half & half at the end turn the heat off.

5.   Add lime juice, fish sauce and Num-Prik-Pow then pour soup into the bowl sprinkle with cilantro.
6.   Serve with jasmine rice.
Note: For me I love to eat tom yum soup with rice and Thai style omelet. Oh yes I can eat it all day long!! 

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