spicy prawn tom yam soup
While on a backpacking trip across South East Asia several years ago, B took a cookery course in Chang Mai run by Thai locals. This traditional hot and sour soup is one of the dishes he learnt there and it is really quick and easy to put together at home. Be careful with those small chillies though, although Thais seem immune to them (the original recipe calls for 20 chillies!), they pack a lot of heat so go easy on them if you don’t want too much fire in your soup.
Prawn Tom Yam Soup
300g (2 cups) prawns, peeled and deveined (heads and shells reserved)
2 stalks lemongrass (white part only), sliced into 1 inch pieces
200g (2 cups) straw mushrooms (tinned is fine), halved
5-10 small green chillies (according to taste)
10 thin slices galangal (blue ginger)
2 tomatoes, cut into eighths
750ml (3 cups) chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves (or zest of 2 limes)
juice of 2-3 limes
6 cloves garlic, crushed
6 shallots, sliced
3 tbsp fish sauce
coriander to garnish (optional)
Place the prawn heads and shells in a pot over a high heat and pour in the stock, boil for 5 minutes. Remove the shells, then add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal and bring the liquid back to a boil.
Next add the mushrooms and tomatoes, again bringing the soup back to a boil, then add the chillies, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves.
Simmer gently for 2 minutes, then add the prawns and cook for another minute. Turn off heat and stir in the lime juice (adjust according to taste). Garnish with the coriander if desired and serve.