How to make Tom Yum Kung
Tom yum kung, or tom yum goong, is a shrimp/prawn version of tom yum soup, one of the most well known soup from Thailand cuisine. This soup is a combination of hot, sweet, sour and salty taste. Any Tom Yum soups should be as hot as possible for eating. In this recipe I'll tell how to make tom tum kung (or tom yum goong). This recipe is calculated for 2 litres of soup, and it is difficult to say how many portion it is, because this soup is so attractive, that you probably can eat it without any limits. The only problem of making tom yum kung, is the ingredients, which not always possible to find.
- Large tiger prawns, 300-600 gm. Don't shy to use more prawns, even up to 1 kg.
- Tomatoes, preferably cherry tomatoes. 300 gm.
- Straw mushrooms, 200 gm.
- Galangal, 100-150 gm.
- Fingerroot or krachai, 50-75 gm.
- Lemongrass, 5-6 sticks.
- Kaffir leaves, 5-6 leaves.
- Whole lime for juice.
- Tamarind, paste or powder, 3 tbsp.
- Hot chili, to taste, 3-4 large fruits,
- Palm sugar, 2 tbsp
- Nam Phrik Phao paste, 2 tbsp.
- Fish sauce, 3-6 tbsp, to taste.
- Fresh green coriander, medium bunch (not shown on this picture).
- Coconut milk, is optional, few tbsp to taste.
- Water, 2 litre.
- Salt. Please note, there is no salt is necessary for this cooking!!!!
Prepare, clean, chop all ingredients. It is better to do at the beginning, because the total cooking time is quite short and you will not have enough time to do it during cooking.
- Clean and de-vein prawns. Do not throw away shells and heads – they will be used as well.
- Finely slice half of chili.
- Chop galangal into a big slices.
- Chop fingerroot into small slices.
- If it is necessary, cut lemongrass into halves.
- Skin tomatoes, and if they big, cut them into halves, or quotas.
- Cut lime into halves.
- In you use tamarind, make paste from it. Mix tamarind with boiling hot water, whisk it well and filter it through metal mesh.
Fry prawn shells and heads.
Bring water to boil and boil fried shells for 15-20 minutes to make a prawn stock. Filter this stock form shells.
Add lemongrass, galangal, fingerrot, kaffir, nam phrik phao, whole chili and boil for 10 minutes.
Add fish sauce, sugar, tamarind and check for salt and sourness. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and prawns. Boil for 5 more minutes and switch of the heat.
Add chopped coriander leaves and optionally, coconut milk. Add chopped hot chili and serve.
tips and tricks
- Some ingredients are difficult to find, and I will try to give possible substitutions.
- Straw mushrooms: button mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms.
- Galangal: ginger, but this substitution is not equivalent. Galangal is one of the most important ingredients for tom yum soup.
- Fingerroot: Galangal or ginger.
- Lemongrass: lemon, or even better lime skin, but this will not be equivalent substitution.
- Kaffir leaves: lemon or lime skin.
- Lime: lemon.
- Palm sugar: brown or normal sugar.
- Nam Phrik Phao paste, it is possible to prepare from prawns, chili and garlic.
- Fish sauce: soy sauce, but it is not equivalent substitution.
- It is possible to make Tom yum kung soup from tom yum paste or even from dried spice mix, but the taste will not be so great as it should be.
- Many recipes recommend to use chicken stock, but I prefer to use prawn stock for prawn soup.
- Serve with simple boiled rice balls.
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