The weather is cooling and we're getting closer to fall, and I've been craving soup. Tom Yung Goong, a Thai soup made with lemongrass and fresh lime, is one of my very favorite soups. When you see how easy it is to make Thai soups, and how yummy and nutritious they are, they will become staples in your kitchen.
Most of us don't eat enough bone broth. Bone broth, made from simmering bones of either chicken, beef or fish, is full of minerals including calcium. It also helps to strengthen and heal the mucosal lining of the intestines. Broth is also rich in gelatin, which helps to prevent and even reverse wrinkles and cellulite. I can't think of a better reason to eat more soup!
Tom Yum is the most famous of Thai soups. It is a clear, sour soup which is flavored with fresh lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. The most well-known version uses shrimp (the word for shrimp in Thai: goong, koon, or kung), but you may also use firm white-flesh fish (see Tom Yum Taleh) or chicken (gy or kai).
Tom Yung Goong
Chicken stock or fish stock, preferably homemade (4 cups)
Lemongrass, available at most large grocery stores or Asian markets (2 stalks or 2 pieces dried)
Galangal root, available at Asian markets (3 slices or 2 pieces dried)
Kaffir lime leaves, available at Asian markets (3 fresh leaves or 4 dried leaves)
Tamarind paste, available at Asian markets (1 TBS)
Thai fish sauce, (1 TBS), available at most large grocery stores or Asian markets — or homemade, click here for the recipe
Shrimp, wild, medium to large size (3/4 lb)
Thai chili peppers, fresh (12) OR Jalapeno peppers (2)
Onion, white, small (1/2)
Roasted chili paste (nam prik pao), available at Asian markets (2 TBS)
Straw mushrooms (1-16 oz. can)
Tomato, small (1)
Lime, fresh, organic if possible (1)
Optional: Cilantro, fresh (1 small bunch)
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat.
2. Trim off the end of the lemon grass root and smash with the side of a cleaver or chef's knife.
Cut into 1-inch pieces (or use 2 dried pieces) and add to the pot.
3. Smash the galangal root, and slice off 3 pieces. Add to the pot, or use 2 pieces of dried root.
4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and tamarind paste to the pot as well. If the tamarind
paste is very dry, break it apart with your fingers as you add it.
5. Peel and devein the shrimp. Butterfly if desired. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Peel and slice 1/2 of the onion into 1/4-inch slices. Add to the pot along with the roasted chili paste and can of drained straw mushrooms.
7. Boil the soup for another 7 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through.
8. If using the Thai chili peppers, add them to the pot whole. If using the jalapeno peppers, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips. Add to the pot.
9. Cut the tomato into 1/4-inch thick wedges. Add to the pot.
10.Turn off the heat.
11. Rinse the lime and using a fork or reamer, squeeze the juice into the pot. Adjust the seasoning, adding more fish sauce to taste if needed.
12. Rinse the cilantro and roughly chop 2 sprigs. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with the cilantro if desired.
Photo Credit: Thai Food Blog, on Flickr