Tom Yum Kung
(Thai hot and sour shrimp soup)
4 to 6 servings
- Water or stock -- 6 cups
- Fish sauce -- 1 or 2 tablespoons
- Kaffir lime leaves -- 4
- Lemongrass, white part of stalk only, crushed --1 stalk
- Galangal (optional), cut into thin rounds -- 2 pieces
- Garlic, crushed -- 2 cloves
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Shrimp, peeled and deveined -- 1 1/2 pounds
- Scallions, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- Straw mushrooms (optional) -- 1 cup
- Limes, juice only -- 2
- Cilantro, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- Thai chile peppers, sliced into rounds -- 2 or 3
- Bring the water or stock, fish sauce, lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, salt and pepper to a boil in a large pot over medium flame. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for another 10 minutes to steep. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and discard solids.
- Return the stock to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp, scallions and mushrooms and continue to simmer over medium-low heat until shrimp is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Stir in the lime juice, cilantro and chilies, adjust seasoning and serve.
Tom Yum Kung Variations
- Tom Kha Kung: Substitute coconut milk for half or all the water or stock.
- Tom Yum Gai: Substitute thinly sliced chicken for the shrimp.
- Tom Yum Hed: A vegetarian variation. Eliminate the shrimp and double the amount of mushrooms.
- Add the shrimp shells from peeling the shrimp to the simmering stock for extra flavor.
- Straw mushrooms are usually found canned. You can substitute thinly sliced button mushrooms if you like, or omit the mushrooms altogether.
- Sliced bamboo shoots can be added if you like.
- If kaffir lime leaves are unavailable, zest the limes before juicing them and use the zest instead.