Jun 26, 2006

Tom Yum Thalay (Thai Hot and Sour Seafood Soup)

We had originally wanted soup because it's a rainy evening, but since we haven't gone Thai for quite a while and I have a handful of coriander leaves (wansoy) in the ref the idea of Tom Yum hit. It would have been simply Tom Yum Goong (prawn soup) but my husband wanted his tanigue chunks in, so I decided to go the whole nine yards and do the seafood version. As the picture shows I put in some squid too. Oh yes, we have the whole ocean in our freezer. The story of that, later, in another post. Kung hindi ako tatamarin. :P

And of course it helped that I have three thriving pots of lemon grass in my garden. I can't say it enough -- the unknowing would have found it weird and funny that this house grows GRASS in pots. Hehehe. The maid waters them everyday too! :P


What's in it?
  • 8 medium sized prawns, shells peeled but tails left intact, and deveined
  • 2 large squid, ink sacs removed, body cut into rings
  • 150 grams fish nuggets
  • 4-6 cups rice washings or tap water
  • 5 stalks fresh lemongrass, lightly pounded, cut into 1" pieces
  • 4 T fish sauce
  • 3 knobs ginger, peeled and pounded
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup straw mushroom
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 6 crushed chili peppers
  • wansoy leaves for garnish

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a pot combine rice washing, lemongrass, ginger, red onion and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, fish sauce and lime juice, let boil for two minutes.

Add in prawns, fish, squid and chile peppers. Let boil for a minute then remove from heat. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with the coriander/wansoy leaves. Serve hot.

Some notes:

1) The real recipe for Tom Yum called for:

  • Galangal, a better, more aromatic relative of ginger.
  • Kaffir lime leaves, used with regularity in a wide array of favorite Thai dishes for its unique luscious perfume and striking flavor
  • Prik Pao, chili paste with soya bean oil. It's made up of sugar, shallots, soyabean oil, garlic, dried chili, fish sauce, dried shrimp and tamarind paste. This gives the soup its characteristic red color.

I didn't have these three so I improvised, substituting with ginger for galangal; adding a little calamansi for the lime; and doing without the color from the Prik Pao.

2) Alternatively, if you are in a hurry or simply want to simplify things, you may want to try the various mixes and pastes available in supermarkets. Some brands I have tried (with satisfactory results) is the Lobo brand (with Thai markings), about P36.00; and Kim's (I forgot how much, but less).


olbjoy said...

mmmhmmm. sarap! mag-contribute ka nga sa mga food magazines. or write for restaurants...ewan, basta you must use this gift elsewhere.