Cookbook: In the Kitchen by Allan Campion & Michele Curtis
I don’t have any dedicated Thai cookbooks so I had to think about which cookbook to look through for a Thai theme recipe. I’ve had the ‘In the Kitchen’ cookbook for a while but haven’t used it yet so I decided my Thai recipe was going to come from there. With the advertised over 1000 recipes in the cookbook, I was sure I would find at least one Thai recipe.
We moved into our current place over a year ago but Miss NR & Mr NB couldn’t make it our housewarming and have yet to come around. Our schedules just never aligned so the last time we saw them, we made it a point to look in a lunch date at our house. I thought I could knock over this week’s Cookbook Challenge by making something for lunch.
I chose to make a tom yum soup for the starter. I’ve never made it before and it’s not something I order at a restaurant because it’s normally either too spicy or too sour. The beauty of homemade food is that you can adjust the seasoning to suit your tastes.
The soup actually cheats by using instant tom yum paste, but there is an addition of fresh herbs, fish sauce, chicken stock and lime juice, which in hindsight isn’t that necessary if bottled tom yum paste is used. The original recipe calls for sliced chicken breast which is marinated in the tom yum paste but as Miss NR doesn’t eat meat, I used seafood instead. The recipe below is how I made it.
Tom yum soup
8 prawns, deveined & shelled with tails intact
4 scallops (without roe)
500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
500ml (2 cups) water
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
3 spring onions, chopped
1 lemon grass stem, thinly sliced
3 small brown onions, thinly sliced
4 coriander stems & roots, chopped *
1 tbsp shaved palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp tom yum paste
2 tbsp lime juice
Coriander leaves to garnish
* Coriander with the roots attached are available at Asian grocery stores. Chop from the root all the way up the stem, stopping at the leaves.
1. Place stock and water in a large saucepan. Add lime leaves, spring onions, lemon grass, onions, coriander, palm sugar and fish sauce.
2. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Add lime juice and tom yum paste and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
4. Strain herbs from soup and return to saucepan and continue to simmer. Check seasoning.
5. Add in prawns first for a minute before adding the scallops and cook for two minutes until scallops and prawns are just cooked.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
Overall: The tom yum soup was enough for four small bowls. I actually added about half a cup of water towards the end and still I found the soup overly potent. It is jam packed with flavour but gets difficult to drink after half a bowl. It could have done with a bit more lime juice to help cut through the flavour. Everyone enjoyed the soup but agreed it needed to be diluted more. The tom yum paste I used was not spicy at all which was good for me. If you prefer more of a chilli kick, you can buy a hot tom yum paste.
The fresh herbs cooking with the chicken stock smelt so much like pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup. I’m going to try using the recipe to make a noodle soup next time leaving out the tom yum paste and lime juice.
Would I make it again? Yes, but I would dilute the soup with another cup of water during the cooking process and add an extra tablespoon of lime juice.
Over & Out, April xx