Tom Yum in Thailand, everyone makes differently, although ingredients are kept similar.
This soup is easy to make, keeping up with ingredients may be an issue, but if you make it couple of times, you will find it very easy.
Nam Prik Pao (Chilli Jam) lasts a long time in a fridge and if you decide to make your own, you will have a supply for a while.
There are two versions of this soup, one with milk and Nam Prik Pao, and another one, just the way it is ( meaning do not add milk and Nam Prik Pao).
Kung means prawns, some recipes suggest chicken broth, but it is not authentic, as you supposed to feel the taste of the prawns only. Please reserve the heads and shells, and devein the prawns.
I am using all fresh ingredients, and my own Nam Prick Pao, as i don’t like any ready maid sauces, the only thing is not fresh is a frozen Galangal, as i failed to find a fresh one. You can use store bought Nam Prik Pao, i could not find any in Perth, so i made my own, and it’s awesome. But if you want to use Tom Yum Paste, just don’t make this soup at all, eat it at a restaurant or something, as it’s not a going to be a proper soup. Also the rest of ingredients are compulsory, and some people contact me, saying that they can’t find fresh lemongrass or kaffir leaves or else, once again..i am sorry, but don’t make this soup.
Please be careful with limes, i find that limes you get in Australia are very strong and you don’t need much at all.
The milk that is used is condensed cow milk, not coconut milk, Tom Kha Gai is in my other recipe, please don’t confuse the two.
Originally the soup is made with prawns and no onion, tomato, mushrooms added. But it became very popular to add these.
The mushrooms, that i am using are button mushrooms, as i can’t stand the recommended oyster mushrooms and every Thai friend i have, said it’s perfectly fine to use button mushrooms.
My recipe, is the one i have, after trying so many and talking to so many, and i really like this version.
Lemongrass- 3 stalks, bruised, only white part.
Kaffir lime leaves- 12- 15
Galangal- 2 inches sliced.
Red thai chilies (small)- 10-15 whole.
Garlic- 6 cloves sliced
Prawns- 1kg, deveined.
Roma tomatoes- 2-3 cut in wedges.
Button mushrooms oyster mushrooms- 200 gm, stems removed cut in half.
Onion- brown-1 cut in wedges.
Coriander- 1 bunch, chopped, reserve some for garnish.
Spring onions- 4 finely chopped.
Palm sugar- 1tbs
Fish sauce- 1-2 tbs
Lime juice- 1-2 limes
Condensed milk-1/2 cup
Nam Prik Pao- 1 tbs
Heat an oil in a pot and add prawn heads and shells, cook, whilst stirring till turn white.
Add 2 litres of hot water, galangal, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir leaves, chilies, cook for 20 minutes, covered.
Discard the solids, and return pot with liquids on the heat.
Add tomatoes, prawns, onions and mushrooms, cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add fish sauce and sugar, lime juice ,taste, adjust if necessary. The soup should have a distinct lime flavour. Add coriander, spring onions and the first version of the soup is done.
For the second version add Nam Prik Pao and condensed milk cook for a minute and take soup of the heat, serve with a fresh coriander and spring onion.