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Saturday, July 12, 2008

tom yum goong

Tom yum goong, or Thai lemongrass prawn soup, is distinctly not a baked good, but guaranteed to fill your home with yummy smells. This is one of those traditional dishes open to a million interpretations, but they all get their distinctive flavor from lemongrass, nam-prik pao (roasted red chili paste), and kaffir lime leaves if you're ever so lucky to have some. The lemongrass and lime leaves impart that addictive flavor you find in Thai cooking, and the roasted chili paste (which contains shrimp paste) adds a deliciously complex salty and spicy quality to the broth. You can totally find this paste in the Asian foods isle at the market.

Not up to making prawn stock from prawn heads and shells, I made this quick and dirty, non-authentic but tasty version cleaning out the fridge. The longer you can simmer it, the better. The coconut milk gives it a satisfying richness. Serve this over some vermicelli and you could make a meal out of it.

Quick and Dirty Tom Yum Goong

3 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup water
¼ cup coconut milk

1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, cut into strips
2 pieces of ginger, 1” each
2 stalks lemon grass, discard outer layer and dry ends, cut into 2” pieces
3 kaffir lime leaves, crushed up a bit
1 lime, juiced
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs nam-prik pao (roasted red chili paste)

15 shitake mushrooms, sliced
½ block of tofu, cut into chunks
Handful of coarsely chopped cilantro
10 prawns

Get a sizeable pot. Heat a little oil over low heat. Soften shallots and jalapeno. Add mushrooms. Soften.

Add broth and water. Throw in everything else, except prawns. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Throw in prawns a few minutes before you want to serve. Done when you're hungry.

1 comment:

Norris Hall said...

if you like thai food Heres a good site for Thai cooking
www.thaifoodtonight.com
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along. Free too