Tom Yum Goong

Tom Yum is probably one of the most well-know Thai recipes and I have the BEST and most authentic Tom Yum Goong recipe for you here. The best Tom Yum calls for shrimp stock, which you can make by boiling the shrimp heads with water, a trick I learned from Chez Pim. A good stock guarantees the great taste of Tom Yum. However, you can also make it with water or canned chicken stock. Another secret is the use of nam prik pao (Thai roasted chili paste). Of course, you can’t do without the aromatics: galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, bird’s eye chilies, etc. To make Bangkok-style Tom Yum which is creamier and whiter in color, add a few tablespoons of evaporated milk to the soup, a trick I learned from She Simmers. Once you have these ingredients, you will have the best bowl of homemade tom yum you’ve ever tasted, I promise. Enjoy!

  • 2 1/2 cups shrimp stock (best), canned chicken stock, or water
  • 10-12 shrimp or 8 oz (head-on and shell-on but chop the eyes part off, devein if you like)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 6 bird’s eyes chilies (pounded)
  • 3 (big) slices galangal
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (bruised)
  • 2 tablespoons nam prik pao (Thai roasted chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons oil of nam prik pao
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (cut into 3-inch strips, pounded with a cleaver)
  • 6 canned straw mushrooms / fresh oyster mushrooms / fresh or canned button mushrooms
  1. In a pot, bring 3 cups of water to boil. Then add a big handful of shrimp/prawn heads. Boil the shrimp head until the water turns slightly orange in color. Press the shrimp heads with spatula to extract the “goodies” from their heads. Let the stock reduce to slightly more than 2 1/2 cups. Drain the shrimp stock and discard the shrimp heads.
  2. Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, bird’s eye chilies, mushrooms, nam prik bao to the shrimp stock and bring it to boil. Add in the shrimp and fish sauce. Lastly, add the lime juice (if you add lime juice too early, the soup might turn bitter). Boil until the shrimps are cooked, dish out and serve hot.

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