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Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum Soup

Literally the Thai words for hot and sour soup, Tom Yum is one of the most popular dishes in the world, known for a flavor base that's sweet, sour, savory and chilli all at once.

A mixture of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal (blue ginger), lime juice, fish sauce and chili is used to create these intense flavors but more than tasting great, the ingredients at the heart of this famous broth give the drinker many nutritional benefits.

Tom yum soup is not only a soothing remedy for when you're feeling under the weather but when you're sick, it helps you increase your appetite and as a result, strength! Its various ingredients are natural immune-system boosters and assist in warding of Winter illnesses like the flu, cold and cough. It's therefore no surprise that these base ingredients are the same ones used traditional Thai medicine!

 
  Did you also know that in Thailand:

  • Galangal is used both to treat flatulence and as an aphrodisiac
  • Traditional doctors use lemongrass to relieve gas in the digestive system
  • Kaffir-lime is thought to cure dandruff

What's more, tom yum soup is a great dish for anyone trying to lose weight! Low in calories and jam-packed with flavour, the dish has long been a favourite of many a dieter across the globe. The spiciness of the dish also helps to kick your metabolism into high gear as your body digests food with more efficiency.

With so many great aspects, this soup has not only been widely adapted in neighboring countries as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore but has also been changed by Western influence. The version most people are familiar with today is tom yum made with shrimp but due to its abundance in Thailand, the main protein ingredient used in the dish had traditionally been fish. With the widespread preference for shrimp in the West, however, tom yum goong (shrimp) has usurped tom yum pla (fish) for top position worldwide. 

 
   Some other contemporary twists:

  • Coconut milk:-a traditionally spicy soup, many Western adaptations add milk or coconut milk to create a more mild taste. While creating a creamier texture, this also increases the calories in the soup!
  • Roasted chilli paste has been added in some Asian adaptations to give the flavor a greater punch. This also lends the soup its bright, eye-catching color.

While a spice paste is enough to give flavor, to bring any dish to life, AHG always recommends adding fresh ingredients too- this also means you can adjust the flavour for personal preference!

See below for a great Tom Yum Goong recipe or, if you want to mix it up a little bit, AHG also has some online recipes for creative ways to use our Thai Tom Yum Soup SpicePaste© including Baked Tom Yum Fish and for a vegetarian option, Eggs with Thai Tangy Sauce.




Tom Yum Goong

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Thai Tom Yum Soup SpicePaste©
  • 880ml (4 cups) water or chicken stock
  • 250g ( ½ lb) shelled and deveined prawns
  • 60g (2 oz) sliced cherry tomatoes

To taste:

  • Chilli
  • Galangal*
  • Lemongrass**
  • Kaffir lime leaves

To season:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime or lemon juice and soya sauce or fish sauce as optional seasoning.

Method

  1. Boil water in a saucepan. Add Spice Paste and stir well.
  2. Add prawns and mushrooms and tomatoes, sliced galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves; bring back to the boil.
  3. Just before serving, season to taste. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

* This is creamy-white and is slighter harder than ginger - it is used in the same way but has a more lemony flavour

** This is a widely used herb that is sold as long lemony scented blades. Try to buy pale-green, near white, bulbous stalks. Lemongrass imparts a fresh citrus taste with a touch of ginger but without the bitter acidity of lemon or lime. If you like, lemongrass can be bought in bulk, chopped finely and frozen for later use.

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