So I’ve always loved tom yum goong, but never tried making it myself. So when I saw a tom yum recipe on the high heel gourmet’s blog (http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/25/tom-yum-goong/) , I was really motivated to make it myself! Hers looks delicious and authentic.
I then made tom yum goong on two occasions following her recipe and found that its not only tasty but really healthy as well! Just look at the ingredients:-
Attempt 1: (No coconut milk used, smaller glass prawns and forgot to include the milk and prawns into the picture)Attempt no. 2: (With tiger prawns and coconut milk and a couple of shallots)
Ingredients (for two), adapted from: http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/25/tom-yum-goong/
4 full stalks of lemongrass (I used 5… or more depending on whether I wanted to finish em all)
5-6 Kaffir lime leaves
Galangal, peeled and sliced thinly, 4-5 pieces (for a 1.5 inch diameter knob of galangal), or 7-8 for a smaller knob – I think its a good idea to smash it a little, to release the flavour and smell
Shrimp or prawns with head and shell – I might have used 300g cuz there’s no such thing as too many prawns *Greedy*
1 can of Straw Mushrooms, these variety of mushrooms are the best kind for tom yum in my opinion
Fish sauce 2 tablespoons
6 cups of liquid in total ; Water/soup stock/coconut milk with 1 cup in reserve. I used 1 young coconut which gave me 2 cups of coconut milk which I find essential as an ingredient in tom yum soup. Without coconut milk I feel like there’s something missing and it doesnt turn out as aromatic
Salt, as needed (Prob 2-3 tsps according to your taste)
Spring onions, cut about 1/4” long, 2 tablespoons
The green parts of the spring onion, 5-6 “leaves” for tying the bouquet garni if you don’t have a string designated for cooking
Cilantro, cut about 1/2” long, (saving the top leaves for garnish) 2 tablespoons
5-6 pods of chilli padi/birds eye chillies
Nam Phrik Pao 3-4 teaspoons (I didn’t use this, but perhaps I should have!)
Milk 1/2 cup (I used 3-4 tbsps when I thought the chilli was going to kill me from the level of spiciness…it helped to neutralize it a little)
Tomatoes 2-4 medium size, quartered (I used about 2)
Young coconut flesh (Unfortunately I ate mine so it never made it in to the soup)
Rock sugar 2-4 crystals (Just to eliminate the slightly unpalatable taste from the herbs, not enough to make the taste sweeter)
1) For big prawns like the ones I’m using here, peel them, leaving the heads intact. De-vein the prawns and keep all the shells.
If you are using shrimp (smaller-sized prawns), pull the heads off alongside the shells and save them, also then deveining them. Set them aside.
2) Boil the 6 cups of liquid before adding the shrimp/prawn shells and shallots, and over the course of cooking, add water or stock as needed.
3) Meanwhile, boil another pot of water. This is where you’ll blanch your spring onion leaves so that it becomes malleable and you will be able to tie the bouquet garni with it. Blanch until soft then remove immediately.
4. Crush the lemongrass along the stalks and slice them lengthwise. Peel the galangal and slice it thinly. Tear the kaffir lime leaves towards the main stem, leaving the stem intact to keep them attached. Lay the blanched spring onions as below and place half the lemongrass on top, followed by kaffir leaves, galangal, more kaffir leaves and the rest of the lemongrass. Tie all of them into a bouquet garni so it doesn’t float all over in your soup.
When you’re done, cut the bundle down the middle (please make sure that both sides are equally secured by the spring onions) so it fits into your pot.
5) Place the bouquet garni into the pot and bring to a boil again, then lower the heat and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
5) Season the soup. The high heel gourmet (a.k.a. Miranti) says that first we must get the salty aspect right. First, add the fish sauce, followed by some salt. When you’re happy with the saltiness, drop the rock sugar into the pot (Always handy to have some crushed ones ready at hand, its easier to apportion and cook). The rock sugar is meant to offset the bitter taste of the herbs. Then you taste the soup again to ascertain if more salt is needed.
6) Take out the shrimp shells and leave the bouquet garni.
7) Increase the heat to high again. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, young coconut flesh if you have it, and the prawns/shrimp.
If you want your Tom Yum to be quite hot and spicy, you can add chilies right now, but if you want it somewhat spicy but not over the top, you add them later once its done boiling.
8) Let it come back to a boil, then turn off the heat right away. At this stage you can add the Nam Phrik Pao, crushed chilies, lime juice, and milk if you like.
9) Garnish with green onion, a slice of lime and cilantro.
It was yummy and really simple to make!
Much thanks to the high heel gourmet for her meticulous recipe and cooking instructions (though I’m afraid I might have deviated here and there and not done her much justice):