Monday, August 27, 2007

Martha's Tom Yam Koong

I promised you a recipe, so here it is! At Martha's cooking school last weekend I learnt a delicious Tom Yam Koong recipe which I'd like to share with you. This is the traditional recipe with no cheeky short cuts. Did you know that the reason the restaurant version is often milky rather than clear is because they add milk to disguise the bitter taste from the herbs where the soup has been made too long in advance? No such shenanigans at Martha's class - her recipe is the real deal.

This makes enough for 2 large bowls.

2.5 cups water
150g fresh button mushrooms (or straw mushrooms if you can get them), halved
3 tblspoons fish sauce
2.5 tblspoons lime juice
2 large stalks of lemongrass
2 large coriander roots
5 individual kaffir lime leaves
20g galengal (similar to ginger but a more subtle flavour)
10 whole fresh birds eye chillies
225g shrimps with shells
Coriander leaves to garnish

Start by crushing and roughly chopping the lemongrass, crushing the coriander root, tearing the lime leaves into a few pieces, crushing and slicing the galengal and bruising the chillies. Martha used a meat tenderising hammer to do this - it looked very satisfying indeed! Take that! And that! You should start smelling some delicious aromas.

Next, the shrimps. Martha recommended buying these live, then putting them in the freezer to die. Once they've snuffed it, twist off their heads! Yes, this is a violent recipe, perfect if you've had a tough day at the office. Leave the tails on as they help the shrimps to stay together whilst cooking. Don't forget to devein - we don't want all that nasty stuff in our soup. That's all our ingredients prepared.

In a saucepan, bring the water to the boil. Once boiling, add the lemon grass, galengal, coriander root and lime leaves then let it boil for one minute.

Add the shrimps and the mushrooms and submerge in the soup - don't stir. You should see the
shrimps turning nice and pink. Once the soup has come to the boil again add the fish sauce and chillies. Remove from the heat straight away and add the lime juice.

Now we're ready to eat. Just in case (like me) you don't realise, you only actually eat the prawns, mushrooms and the broth itself - all the herbs are just for flavour! Delicously hot yet fresh and healthy tasting.


Miu said...

hi thanks for the recipe i will try to cook them tonight :D been looking for a clear soup tom yum as the really red ones are not to my fancy hehe!!!