In Far Eastern countries like Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia a spicy and clear soup called tom yum is widely consumed. The popularity of this traditional soup has not been confined to a few Far Eastern countries and today people the world over consume this piquant soup with much gusto.
In fact, most major restaurants across the world which serve Far Eastern cuisine will definitely serve a steaming hot bowl of tom yum soup or its many variants.
About Tom Yum
Tom yum is a soup prepared from a beautiful blend of traditional herbs and spices that is sure to ignite the taste buds. What makes tom yum unique, is its distinct fusion of sour and hot flavors. Tom yum boasts of the perfect marriage between ingredients like galangal, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lemon grass and crushed dried red chili peppers. This fragrant soup is not only flavorful but extremely nutritious as well. So, the next time you are feeling physically drained prepare tom yum soup as a quick ‘pick me up’.
Commercially sold Tom Yum lacks the distinctive punch which a freshly made tom yum soup has. So, it is best to prepare this soup from scratch with the freshest of ingredients.
Variants of Tom Yum Soup
You can prepare either a vegetarian tom yum soup or you can also prepare this soup using poultry, meat or even sea food. One of the most popular versions of this soup is called tom yum goong. Tom yum goong or tom yum kung is made with freshly caught and cleaned prawns. Some of the other popular versions of tom yum soup are Tom Yum Pla, Tom Yum Nam Khon, Nam Khon and Tom Yum Gai to name just a few.
Serving Tom Yum Soup
Hot steaming tom yum soup should be ladled into deep soup bowls and served with small bowls of chilli paste on the side. If you want to tone down the spiciness of tom yum you can also pair this soup with a glass of red wine for a wonderful amalgamation of eastern and western flavors.
Given below is an easy recipe for a soul satisfying tom yum goong soup.
Large shrimps peeled and cleaned – 9
A stalk of lemon grass crushed and cut- 3 pieces
Kaffir lime leaves (fresh) – 4
Hot chilies crushed – 4
Lime juice (freshly squeezed) – 3 tbsp
Fish sauce (any popular brand) – 2 tbsp
Tomato (cut into 4 wedges)– 1
Fresh button mushrooms – 1 cup
Coriander leaves – a few sprigs
Fresh galangal (Sliced) – ¼ cup
Clear broth (preferably chicken broth) – 3 cups
1. Pour three cups of freshly prepared clear chicken broth into a large pot. Now place the pot containing the chicken broth over a medium heat source.
2. Bring the clear chicken broth to boil. Once the broth starts boiling, add the sliced galangal, the tomato wedges, crushed lemon grass stalks, the cleaned shrimps and the sliced button mushrooms into the pot.
3. Allow the ingredients to cook until the shrimps change color and become pale pink. Once the shrimps take on pale pink hue add the fresh kaffir lime leaves and crushed red chilies.
4. Allow the ingredients to cook for another 25 minutes before switching off the heat.
5. Finally add the fish sauce, coriander leaves and lime juice. Give the soup a good stir. Now ladle the delicious tom yum goong into deep soup bowls and enjoy its refreshing flavor.