Had wanted to make my own tom yum soup for the longest time, but never really get down to doing it… and the furthest I have went so far are perhaps the tom yum flavour instant noodles!! Hmm.. what’s holding me back you may ask ? Maybe it’s because Thai food requires ingredients on its own, such as blue ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, which perhaps being the most often used in Thai foods only, it’s difficult to find use for these ingredients in other kinds of cooking. And as you know, all working adults get their supply of food ingredients from the supermarket, where it’s difficult to buy in very small quantities. Often, they comes in a bag of many and you might have difficulty in using up the rest of the ingredients, unless you cook similar kinds of foods constantly.
Then then then, I came across this Tom Yum Set sold in Fairprice. It’s like they pre pack all that you need in a tom yum soup in the desired quantity and definitely comes without any wastage as such. Pretty cool, isn’t it ? And I think it’s only 90 cents or a dollar for this pre pack bag !! This definitely spurs me to cook my own tom yum soup finally !!
Oh yeah, you probably need some good tom yum paste as well. I find this one relatively good. It’s isn’t too spicy nor too sourish either. And therefore you can further adjust the taste to your liking by adding more lime juice to increase its sourness or more chili padis to add on its spiciness.
This is a very good soup base for steamboat as well. And the best part is you can churn out a good pot of it in less than half an hour.
Cooking has to be very flexible and versatile. Therefore, you will see I added some “unusual” stuffs that will not normally go into a tom yum soup ! Such as this as below !
For those who work in town area, I am sure you are not foreign to a soup chain of stores named “一家村”. They served MSG free soups in various forms, mostly Chinese soups I would say. And one of their soups has these Fish Balls with Roe that I find it very nice ! Some of my colleagues patronise the stores very often because they find the soups good, but honestly speaking, I find their soup ingredients are too little for the price and taste wise, ok only. I remembered ordering extra of these fish balls that they supposedly charge me an extra $1 for 2 pieces.
It doesn’t harm to add a few of these fish balls to the tom yum soup, right ? Hahaha ! And I replace the usual straw mushrooms that you commonly find in tom yum soup with button mushrooms instead. As I said, cooking is a very flexible thing… Hehehe, that’s no hard and fast rules… do what you love, love what you do !
- 500ml chicken stock
- 500ml water
- 2 tbsp tom yum paste
- 1 tbsp evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- some prawns
- some squids
- some fish slices
- some button/straw mushrooms
- some fish balls with egg roe (optional)
- some chili padis (optional, if you prefer it to be spicier)
- 2 stalks of lemongrass (using the bottom part only, sliced into slanted sections)
- 2 pcs of blue ginger (sliced)
- 8 pcs lime leaves
- 1 lime (cut into halves and squeeze out the lime juice)
- 1 shallot (sliced)
- 4 pcs of thai chilies (cut)
- Add the chicken stock and water to a huge pot, together with all the ingredients EXCEPT the lime juice from the Tom Yum Set. Let it simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes till the water boils.
- After the water has boiled, lower the heat to medium and add in the tom yum paste, fish sauce and evaporated milk. Let it continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Lastly, add in all the seafood and mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the seafood are cooked. Add the lime juice and give it a quick stir. Dish and serve.
- Do not include the lime juice at the initial cooking stage. It is to be added only before serve and the amount to be added is up to individual, depending on how sour you want it to be. Adding it at the beginning will make the soup turn bitter, so it's a no-no !