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Tom Yum Soup

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09th-Dec-2016       
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Ingredients :
2 liters of water
4 stalks of lemongrass
1 inch chunk of galangal
10 kaffir lime leaves
10 Thai chilies
5 cloves of garlic
½ kilo shrimp
300 grams of oyster mushrooms
2 roma tomatoes
2 white onions (medium sized)
2 teaspoons of sugar
8 - 12 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
8 - 12 tablespoons of lime juice (10 - 15 limes)
Handful of cilantro
Creamy tom yum version
3 tablespoons canned Thai roasted chili sauce
10 tablespoons evaporated milk
Taste test, you may need to add more lime juice or fish sauce as the milk and roasted chili sauce throws off the sourness and saltiness.
Instructions
1.    First thing to do is put about 2 liters of water in a pot to boil.
2.    Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it's best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don't need to rush to squeeze them all. Slice about 10 limes and juice them all into a small bowl, and set them aside for later.
3.    Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a mallet to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavors. Then just slice it diagonally into 1 inch strips or so.
4.    Take about 1 thumb sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.
5.    Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves - no need to cut them, just tear them - which is going to help release their flavor.
6.    Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.
7.    I used about 10 Thai bird chilies (prik kee noo) for this recipe, but you can use however many you'd like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you'd still like the chili flavor but not as much heat.
8.    Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chilies into the water. You can put on the lid just so it starts to boil and release all the herb flavors quicker.
9.    Now prepare your shrimp (or whatever meat of choice you're making tom yum with). Since I used goong mae nam, freshwater shrimp, I first chopped off all the tentacles.
10.    Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes, and you can go ahead and toss in the shrimp and turn the fire to low.
11.    Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre rinse beforehand.
12.    Take two roma tomatoes and two small white onions and slice them into wedges - you want them to be big and chunky. Then go ahead and add them to the tom yum.
13.    If you're using shrimp for this tom yum recipe, you might get some foam build up on top of your soup, in which case you can just lightly skim it off the top and toss it out.
14.    Boil the tom yum for about 2 - 3 minutes.
15.    Next, add about 6 tablespoons of fish sauce first, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. You may need more of each, but start with that.
16.    Boil your tom yum for another minute or so and then turn off the heat. You don't want your tom yum to be overcooked. The mushrooms and onions should be soft, and then it's ready.
17.    Once your heat is off, go back to your lime juice and add about 8 tablespoons of lime juice (depending on how sour you like it, I like it really sour).
18.    Make sure you taste test until your tom yum is perfectly sour and salty. You might need to add more fish sauce, sugar, or lime juice.
19.    Finally chop up a handful of fresh cilantro, throw it in the soup, and give your tom yum a final stir. The lime juice and cilantro taste fresher and more vibrant when not boiled, so that's why I turn off the heat before adding them.
20.    You now have Tom yum goong nam sai, the clear version of tom yum.
For the creamy version of Tom Yum
1.    For this recipe, I took out about ½ of the tom yum and set it aside as the clear version, and then made the other ½ as the creamy version.
2.    Turn your heat back on low.
3.    Add about 3 heaping tablespoons of Thai roasted chili sauce to your soup and stir it in.
4.    Also about 10 tablespoons of evaporated milk.
5.    Mix it all in and let your soup heat up for about 1 minute.
6.    At this stage, you'll need to taste test and evaluate. The roasted chili sauce and creaminess from the evaporated milk will alter the flavors from the clear version, so you might need more lime juice and more fish sauce. Just keep taste testing until it's exactly how you like it.
7.    And there you have the creamy version of tom yum.
    - Weekend Plus Desk

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