Tom Yum is a Thai hot and sour soup very similar to a spicy Sinigang.
- 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 1″ pieces and smashed a bit (about 1/3 cup)
- 6 lime leaves (about 1 tablespoon), torn with center vein removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh turmeric (luyang dilaw), sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon coriander roots, about 2 roots
- 1 tablespoon shallots, whole with skin removed (1 to 2 shallots)
- 1 cup tomato (medium tomato), sliced into 6-8 pieces lengthwise
- 2 cups broth (pork, chicken)
- 1/2 cup straw mushrooms, ends removed and halved
- 2 tablespoons red medium-sized chilies, smashed
- 4 or 5 medium-sized saltwater shrimp, whole and uncleaned, make sure they’re fresh
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce (patis)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted chili paste
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (add more if you like)
- 3 tablespoons fresh cow’s milk (optional)
- 3 small dried chilies, roasted (optional – use only if adding milk)
- 1 tablespoon coriander, chopped.
1) Prepare all the ingredients. Remove the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks and cut off the end. Cut into 1-2? pieces and smash with the side of a heavy knife to release flavor. Tear the center vein off the lime leaves. Slice your fresh turmeric into thin slices. Cut the tomato into 6 pieces lengthwise. Peel the skin off the shallots and smash lightly. Clean your coriander roots well. Smash the fresh chilies with the back of a heavy knife, or in a mortar and pestle. If using fresh Thai straw mushrooms, slice the bottoms off and cut in 1/2 lengthwise. If making the version with milk: roast the dried chilies until fragrant and browned in a dry wok on medium heat.
2) Wash the shrimp then set aside. Boil the broth on high until it comes to a rapid boil. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, coriander root, turmeric, shallots and tomato. Boil for 4-5 minutes. if you’re using fresh ingredients, 4-5 minutes should be enough. In a separate pan, boil the mushrooms in plain water.
3) After you’ve boiled 4-5 minutes, add a pinch of salt and the shrimp. Strain the cooked mushrooms and add them to the soup as well. Cook until shrimp turn pink, about a minute.
4) Add the fish sauce and remove from heat. You will now season the soup.
5) Add lime juice, chili paste, smashed fresh chilies.
6) If making the version with milk: Add the milk and dried chilies. If doing this step you’ll need to add a bit more lime juice and fish sauce as the milk tames it down a bit. Add about a teaspoon more of each.
7) Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve.