An aromatic, sour and spicy thai soup, Tom yum is all about the right balance of flavors and perfect to warm you up for the upcoming colder days.
I made mine with mixed seafood, but you could swap that for your preferred kind of protein (chicken, fish, or even keep it vegetarian).
I have avoided seafood for some period of my life, as I am turned off by the strong smell. A funny incident that happened on our honeymoon made that worse. 😅
We had booked a honeymoon package for Langkawi, Malaysia which included a romantic candle light dinner on the beach. So, I was of course very excited for that night. I wore my best outfit, 💃🏻did my makeup💄💋 (as good as I could back then), and we came to the beach, where a romantic table setting was waiting for us. It was perfectly breezy and the band came over to our table to sing, “you say it best, when you say nothing at all”. 🎶 The staff came over to take our orders, and my husband (feeling too adventurous) told them, “surprise us”. And they did. 😆
They came over with a platter of delicacies, read: boiled seafood. Everything was going perfect, until I had my first bite of that seafood. I just couldn’t have any more of it, as hard as I tried. It had a very strong smell. My husband being a seafood lover, enjoyed his meal. But thankfully, the dessert rescued the night and made up for it.🙏🏻
Well, that night made me promise, I would never have seafood again. But for the love of my husband for his favorite soup, tom yum, I looked up the recipe and cooked for him, initially planning not to touch it.
But when I made it, I reluctantly tried it to adjust the seasoning. And to my surprise, I liked it. It doesn’t have a strong seafood smell as the herbs and condiments involved subdues that. So, now I am not only making it, but also enjoying a bowl or two,every now and then.
Here is the recipe, written instructions below.
- 1 liter chicken stock/ vegetable stock
- 2 cups mixed seafood (substitute: prawns or chicken)
- 1 cup mushrooms (shiitake or oyster)
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 2 Thai red chili (bird’s eye chili)
- 4-5 kefir lime leaves
- 3-4 centimeter piece of galangal
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tsp thai chili paste (nam prik pau)
- 1/2 tsp sugar (skip for whole 30 and keto)
- 3-4 Tbsp fish sauce (adjust to preferred saltiness)
NOTE: Lemongrass, galangal and thai chili can be found in the vegetable section in any asian store. Thai chili paste, often named as Nam Prik Pau could be found in the spice aisle. Kefir lime leaves are often found in the freezer section and could be stored in your freezer for several months.
Instructions: Serves 2 / Preparation time : 5 minutes / Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Roughly chop galangal and lemongrass.
- Add the galangal, lemongrass, kefir lime leaves and whole thai chilies to the chicken stock. (For a spicier soup, chop the thai chilies).
- After it comes to a simmer, let it cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, and let cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Now, add the seafood and let cook on low heat for another 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn off heat and add fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and thai chili paste.
- Mix well and serve with some drops of lime juice.