Fragrant and distinct, the classic tom yum kung soup is a perfect blend of the most common Thai herbs and vegetables, many of which you may be able to grow in your own backyard. Don’t have it all going in your garden just yet? All of these ingredients can be found in Asian supermarkets, and most can be found in your well-stocked local supermarket. Not only is this soup a delicious amalgamation of savory, tangy, and spicy tastes (if you’ve had this soup before, I know you’re craving it now just reading about it), it may have health benefits. Ingredients such as shallots, chili peppers, lemongrass and galangal are touted as having immune-boosting properties. Try it tonight or the next time you’re fighting a cold. Serves 4.
Tom Yum Kung
6 cups chicken stock
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 5 inch sections, and bruised with a mallet
1 inch piece of galangal or ginger root, sliced
3 shallots, cut in half and crushed with the back of a knife
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 8-ounce can of straw mushrooms, rinsed
2 chili peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon chili paste
12 Large shrimp, peeled tail-on and deveined
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped
Bring chicken stock to a boil over medium high heat. Add lemongrass sections, galangal and shallots. Tear the kaffir lime leaves halfway and add to pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add straw mushrooms, chopped chili peppers, chili paste, shrimp. Add lime juice, sugar, fish sauce. Simmer for a few minutes more until shrimp is cooked. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro to serve. Enjoy!