Friday, July 25, 2008

Tom Yum Goong

It is so good to come back to rice and soup in Kuching after 10 days of foreign food. I considered myself a very asianised person even though I had Malay/English education. My mandarin and cantonese are limited to TVB series but definitely better than Greg's which is close to zero.

Towards the last two days in London, I was many times tempted to eat at a Chinese restaurant there. I understand that London's chinese food is actually quite good if you know where to go. But French and British food was or main priority there. So ya, it's really good to be back to our normal staple of rice and home cooked dishes.

Not long ago, I did this all time favourite Thai soup and the results is actually very good. I can really sip this bowl of tom yum dry. No bought paste is used. This is pure tom yum from fresh ingredients.

Serve 4-6

1.2- 1.5 litre of chicken stock
2 piece of thumb size galangal, pounded
1 piece of thumb size ginger, pounded
8-10 pieces of medium to big kaffir leaves (daun pulut), torn up
3 stalk of lemom grass, sliced thinly diagonally
8 no of thai chillis/chilli padi, chopped
2 medium tomatos, slice wedges
1 can of straw mushroom
400gm of nice fresh prawns, fresh water prawns, big-head prawns#, deveined and cleaned
4-5 no of medium kaffir lime (limau pulut)*
Seasoning to taste ~ salt, fish sauce, sugar
1 1/2 tbsp of chilli oil (heat up 1/4 cup of oil, add 4-5 tbsp of dried chilli flakes and simmer at very low fire till chilli oil is released)
1 tbsp of ideal milk (optional to enhance the colour)

1) Boil water, blanch and cook chicken bones. Simmer for an hour or so. Or simply use chicken stock.

# I added the prawn heads for extra tastiness. But you can choose to keep the prawn heads attached if your prawns are really big especially the big-head prawns. They look really nice served whole. I could not get any big prawns at this time of the year and I finished my Chinese New Year stock last month. So I had to use the small types from the wet market.

2) Add kaffir leaves, chillis, galangal, ginger and lemon grass and simmer for 45 min to 1 hour. Strain for soup.

3) Add straw mushrooms, tomatos, chill oil, extra 4-5 whole pieces of kaffir leaves and one slice up one stalk of lemon grass for garnishing. Add the prawns.

4) Add seasoning. Suggested seasoning here are 2 tbsp of fish sauce, 1 tbsp of salt, 1 tbsp of sugar and the juice from kaffir lime.

* Kaffir lime looks very ugly as they are very lumpy all around. I squeezed all my lime and forgot to take picture. Sometimes, they can be very dry inside. My recipe suggested 4-5 medium size ones if they are some juices. If they are dryd, try squeezing them to get the pulp and add extra 1-2 juicy local lime to bring out the sourness factor. It is very difficult to give the exact measurement for seasoning and lime juice as it is very dependent on taste. But remember as with Thai food ~ salty, sweet and sour must be present. Tom Yum must have the Oomph...

5) Bring the whole pot to a boil. Dish out and serve.


ganache-ganache said...

I always have my Tom Tum without the Oomph as I can't take chilli, so it's the non-chilli version, just sourish............. oh did you put on any weight when you came back ? :)

NEE said...

we like ours a little hot and spicy please dont use my formula cause may be too hot for you.

amazingly i did not but that is because we walked from dawn to dusk, also chasing buses and walking up and down metro station. in fact a fren of mine who travel a lot on his own actually lost weight after each trip such luck for us.

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