Friday, March 4, 2011

Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)

March is Thai Cuisine Month at FabFri

Thai food is known for its balance of the four fundamental flavours in each dish or the overall meal -- salty, spicy, sweet and sour. Fresh and aromatic basil, cilantro, galangal (sharper more peppery version of ginger), hot red and green thai chillies, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce are some of the most commonly used ingredients in Thai cuisine.
I got hooked on to these flavours fairly recently and since then have explored and tried several versions of some of the most popular recipes. This month we are feasting on all these dishes and getting high on Thai. So join us and enjoy.

Tom Yum Goong
Perhaps the most famous of all Thai soups is this delicious spicy shrimp soup called Tom Yum Goong. It is a perfect blend of all four Thai flavours and is a great concoction to clear up your sinuses this allergy season. In Thailand it is often served in a charcoal heated hotpot.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
6 Cups water
6 lemongrass stalks crushed
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
10 kaffir lime leaves
1-4 Thai red chilies finely chopped (number depends on the desired spice level)
1 inch galangal peeled and finely chopped
2-4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 lb raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
2 oz mushrooms sliced
12 cherry tomatoes halved OR 4 regular tomatoes cut in thick thunks
juice of 2 limes
cilantro and basil leaves for garnish
  1. Pour stock in a large stock pot and add lemongrass, cilantro, lime leaves, chilies, galangal, fish sauce and sugar. Cover and bring to boil, simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and mushrooms and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and lime juice. Check seasoning and add more fish sauce (for salty flavor) and sugar if necessary.
  4. Remove and discard lemongrass stalks. Serve garnished with cilantro and basil.

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