Friday, July 14, 2006
Tom Yum Revisited
Tom Yum Koong
4-5 cups of homemade chicken stock
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined (reserve shells)
1 package of white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
12 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
2 scallions, green parts, cut into 2 inch strips
5 thick slices of fresh ginger
3 thai chilies, or to taste
1 tsp. red chile paste
juice of 2-3 limes
2-3 T. fish sauce
1 slice of tomato, if desired
1. Place rinsed off shrimp shells in a pot of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
2. Remove shells.
3. Add shrimp, mushrooms, lime leaves, scallions, ginger, chilies, and red chile paste. Boil for 5-6 minutes.
4. Add fish sauce and lime juice and simmer for several more minutes.
I think this soup tastes better after it's been in the fridge for a while and then reheated. Keep all of the ingredients in the soup (do not remove anything; if you need to, instruct guests not to eat leaves, ginger, and chilies).
Personally, I wouldn't bother making this soup without the lime leaves. I did in the past and now I realize that the lime leaves MAKE Tom Yum. Tom Yum without lime leaves is merely a poser.
This soup lasts all week if it's just for one or two people. Otherwise I would say it serves about six. It might be an acquired taste, though. I don't know many people who like Tom Yum who aren't experts regarding Thai cuisine.
You can find kaffir lime leaves at 99 Ranch Market in Kearny Mesa (and other locations in Southern CA) or possibly your local Asian market (they're not easy to find). They are usually in the produce section.