International food flavors have grown in popularity over the past several years. As the foodie movement sweeps through cities and small towns alike, eaters are looking for ‘different’ dining options. College Cafeterias are becoming International Eateries as young foodies seek out fresh flavorful options. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Asian Markets are as popular as ever with home cooks like me, offering expansive and diverse ingredients.
Our favorite of the Asian Cuisines is Thai. Our first introduction to Thai food was about 15 years ago when we were blessed with a new family member, who happened to be a Thai Chef. Our pantry was changed forever. Who knew soy sauce came in gallon jugs and fish sauce could ever taste good? We were introduced to the term ‘layers of flavor’ when vinegars met hot peppers and fish sauce balanced lime juice. The dipping sauces alone left us speechless. We’ve had the pleasure of observing many Thai dishes come to life and even assisting in one or two. We’re ready for a guest post by this amazing chef…come on down!!
Tom Yum Goong, Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup. As you can see in the picture, the ingredients in this soup pack loads of flavor. This dish is Hot, but the kind of heat that turns one sip into a ladle of love. Before I made this dish for the first time I read at least a dozen variations of recipes for Tom Yum Goong.
Follow soup recipe below. Then place chili pepper slices, scallions, and lime juice into serving bowls and top with shrimp, broth, and cilantro leaves. Adjust flavors by adding more fish sauce or lime juice just 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
Serve this soup hot and allow the aromas to add to the flavor. Sip, smell, taste, enjoy. And the next time you feel a cold or flu coming on try a home remedy bowl of Tom Yum Goong. It will clear your sinuses, ease your body aches, and even lessen a headache.
- 2 stalks fresh lemon grass
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 6 Kaffir lime leaves
- 3 slices fresh ginger (sliced galangal would be authentic but not already in my fridge)
- 2 Thai chili peppers, halved and seeds removed
- 1 shallot, thin sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms (traditionally straw but I opted for Bunapi. They're mild and look cool)
- 2 Tbl. Thai chili paste
- 8 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1½ Tbl. fish sauce
- 1 Tbl. brown sugar
- 3 scallions, thin sliced
- 1 Thai chili or red chili pepper thin sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- cilantro leaves
- Trim tip and root ends of lemongrass stalks and remove tough outer layer.
- Using a mallet smash the lemongrass to flatten it; tie stalks into a knot; set aside.
- Pour broth into 2 qt saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger, and chili halves reduce heat and simmer 7-10 minutes until fragrant.
- Strain broth, discarding lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger and chili halves.
- Return to pan and increase heat to high.
- Stir in mushrooms and chili paste and boil for 1 minute; add shrimp, fish sauce, and sugar and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.
- Place chili pepper slices, scallions, and lime juice into serving bowls and top with shrimp, broth, and cilantro leaves.
- Adjust flavors by adding more fish sauce or lime juice just ¼ teaspoon at a time.
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