If you love Thai food, maybe you already know about this dish, Tom Yum Goong, and how it tastes like. But in case you don’t know about it, thanks to Wikipedia (yay!), now it’s able for me, who is truly and honestly terrible at explaining things, to tell you what it is. According to Wikipedia, Tom Yum is a spicy clear soup typical in Laos and Thailand and is widely served in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and has been popularized around the world. It’s characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragnant herbs used in the broth (lemongrass, ginger…). And finally (that’s the most important part ^^), Tom Yum Goong, or Tom Yam Kung is the most popular version of Tom Yum, is made with prawns as the main ingredient.
Whewww, that academic part of the post !!! Actually, I just want to show you how crazy I was when I made this dish. I cooked it in a not-really-cold-and-windy winter day, fyi, it’s quite warm, or should I say “hot”? Besides, I’m not a big fan of spicy food so after finishing all the steps, I tasted it and like, wow, it explodes in my mouth! That was seriously hot and spicy, you may not believe this but I nearly cried. So, if you’re obsessed with spicy food or your place’s extremely cold (this’s even better), this dish should be your must-do. It will make you hot inside and out (LOL what am I saying right now?)
Okay, let’s move on to the actions 😉
Ingredients (serves: 4)
500 grams prawns, peeled, keep the heads
250 grams white mushrooms, washed and quartered
50 grams Tom Yum paste (Nam Prik Pow)
5 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and cut into 7cm long pieces
10-12 slices of ginger
10-12 lime leaves
2-3 hot chilies
Lemon juice/Lime juice
1. Soak the Tom Yum paste packet in hot water for about 1 minute so the paste will be softer and easier to use.
2. In a large mixing bowl, marinade the prawns with half of the lemongrass, slices of gingers and half of the Tom Yum paste. Mix until combined.
3. Meanwhile, put all the prawn heads in a pot, cover with 1l fresh water, add 5 tbs of fish sauce and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, simmer for 20-25 minutes so the sweetness from the heads can go through the water.
4. Using the back of a spoon, gently and very carefully smash the prawn heads to excess all the sweetness and flavors, then take them all out. The broth should turn…orange (or they call “red”) by now. Add the remaining lemongrass, limes leaves, hot chilies and the remaining Tom Yum paste to the broth, stir well and cook for a couple minutes.
5. Add the mushrooms, cook further in 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. Season more with fish sauce if needed.
6. Finally, add the prawns and their marinade (slices of ginger, lemongrass) to the broth, cook until the prawns are nicely done and soft (about 5-7 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice/lime juice, the amount depends on your liking, I’m a big fan of sour dishes so I added some HUGE tablespoons, maybe 7-8, or even more xD Turn off the heat and serve hot.
Good luck everyone and have fun making this hot and delicious dish,
Love, Trang Quynh