Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, teaches cooking classes and hosts cooking-related meetups in Chicago. She invites food bloggers to join in by posting a recipe on the many themes she offers each month. One coming up this month is Thai food.
Dan and I both love Thai food, and I’ve been making it more myself lately. Recently, I made tom yam kung (aka hot and sour) soup. It turned out pretty well, but you really need to have authentic ingredients for it to taste right.
I was able to find lemongrass (and now I have it in my garden) in the grocery store, but no kaffir lime leaves or galangal (Asian ginger). So I’ve found an online source that I ordered from and will hopefully have these ingredients soon, so I can try it again and see if it tastes more authentic. It was good, but it just didn’t have the same flavor as the tom yam kung soup I’ve had at local Thai restaurants. btw, Rama Garden in downtown Norfolk is my favorite local Thai restaurant.
This recipe is from “Madhur Jaffrey’s Far Eastern Cookery.”
Tom Yam Kung (Hot and Sour) Soup
1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (reserve the shells)
2 sticks fresh sliced lemongrass
4 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, or 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon rind
1-1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. chili paste (nam prik pow)
1 15-oz. can straw mushrooms, or 12 medium fresh straw mushrooms (found these at American Asian Foodmarket, corner of Great Neck Road and Virginia Beach Blvd., Va. Beach)
3 fresh hot green chilies
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro
Rinse shrimp, drain and pat dry. Cover and refrigerate. Cut each stick of lemongrass into 3×2-inch pieces, starting from the rounded bottom end. Discard the strawlike top. Lightly crush the 6 pieces with a skillet or flat side of a heavy knife.
Combine the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves or lemon rind, stock and shrimp shells in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain, then add the fish sauce, lime juice and chili paste. Mix and taste, adding more fish sauce or lime juice if you need it.
Drain the mushrooms and add to the seasoned stock (if using fresh, quarter them and blanch in lightly salted boiling water, then add to the seasoned stock).
The soup may be prepared in advance to this point. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.
Prepare the garnishes shortly before serving the soup. Cut the green chiles into thin slices. Heat the stock with the mushrooms in it. When it begins to bubble, drop in the peeled shrimp. Cook on medium heat for about two minutes or just until shrimp turn opaque. Put soup into a large serving bowl or individual serving bowls. Garnish with green chiles and whole fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot.