Spring is finally here!! And with warmer weather and blossoming plants and flowers my seasonal allergies begin to attack!! 😦 On top of that, I have had a mild cold for a few days running now. I needed something to clear my sinuses quickly and effectively. The solution was provided to me by my dear friend and certainly one of my favorite customers, Kyle, who suggested I ingest some super spicy Tom Yum. It hit the spot! And as hot as I made it I could certainly breathe a lot easier after having a big bowl.
Tom Yum is a traditional Thai hot and sour soup that has many variations throughout southeast Asia. As its core, it is a stock flavored by galangal, lemongrass, chili paste, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaf and lime juice. You could use a variety of proteins and vegetables in this soup though I chose to use tofu, mushrooms, onions and tomato for this version.
So if you find yourself with an untimely spring cold, make this soup and kick that cold right in it’s ass!!
- 4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife and cut into large pieces
- 3 inch piece galangal (Thai ginger), cut into large pieces (*tip: if there are only gigantic pieces of galangal at the store just break a smaller nub off with your hands because that ish is expensive!)
- 2 large pinches of kaffir lime leaves, I found them jarred in the Asian/Thai aisle at Wegmans
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons good quality fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons red chile paste, I found a jar labeled Tom Yum paste in the Asian/Thai aisle that worked very well
- 1 pound firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 5 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 small white onion, thinly sliced
- 1-3 Thai chiles, seeded and minced *1 Thai chile will make this soup hot, 3 will make it scorching, you decide how you like it!
- 1 tomato, diced
- fresh cilantro for garnish
In a pot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable stock, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, fish stock and sugar. Bring this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer this for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, strain the stock to remove all of the aromatics. Return stock to the pot and stir in the chili paste until smooth. Add in the mushroom, onions and Thai chiles and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Lastly, add the tofu and tomato and allow the soup to simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh cilantro and let the warming heat of this soup cure what ails you!