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Tom Yum Soup: a true taste of heaven

It has been a while since I have posted something I had cooked. I love cooking and I try to be as original as possible when I plan what to cook. I am proud to say that I have a collection of over 500 tried and tested recipes coming from all over the world. I rarely cook something twice, because I always try to be innovative. I only make exceptions for the extra delicious recipes which I am eager to taste again. Tom Yum Soup is one of them. I have tried this soup while I was in Malaysia and it was the tastiest soup I had ever tasted, extremely rich in flavour and is based on some of my favourite ingredients: prawns and lemongrass. Luckily I had bought all the necessary ingredients from Malaysia (actually I bought all the spices I had never seen from local supermarkets) and was able to try it again at home. However if you do not have Galangal you can easily substitute it with ginger since it has a similar flavour. Following is my version of this delicious recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 liters of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass (preferably fresh but you can also use packed one)
  • 1 inch chunk of galangal (or ginger if you do not find it)
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 Chilies (or less if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • ½ kilo shrimp
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 white onions (medium sized)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 8 – 12 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • 8 – 12 tablespoons of lime juice (10 – 15 limes)
  • Handful of parsley
  • 10 tablespoons evaporated milk (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

First thing to do is put about 2 liters of water in a pot to boil.

Chop the lemongrass, galangal and crush the kaffir lime leaves.

Peal and chop the garlic cloves, together with the chillies (you can remove the seeds if you would like to decrease the heat).

Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chilies into the water. You can put on the lid just so it starts to boil and release all the herb flavors quicker.

Now you you can prepare your shrimps by chopping off all the tentacles and boil them with their shells in the soup for around 10 minutes. Turn the fire to low.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre rinse beforehand.

Take the tomatoes and two small white onions and slice them into wedges – you want them to be big and chunky. Then go ahead and add them to the tom yum.

Next, add about 6 tablespoons of fish sauce first, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. You may need more of each, according to your taste. If you are using evaporated milk, now it is the time to pour it in.

Boil your tom yum for another minute or so and then turn off the heat. You don’t want your tom yum to be overcooked. The mushrooms and onions should be soft, and then it’s ready.

Once your heat is off, add about 8 tablespoons of lime juice (once again the quantity depends on how sour you like it). Make sure you taste test until your tom yum is perfectly sour and salty. You might need to add more fish sauce, sugar, or lime juice.

Finally chop up a handful of fresh cilantro, throw it in the soup, and give your tom yum a final stir. The lime juice and cilantro taste fresher and more vibrant when not boiled, so that’s why I turn off the heat before adding them.

This is the final result:

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