Tom Yum Soup is my favorite Thai soup. For those not familiar with Thai food it is a coconut shrimp soup. It has almost all the flavors balanced: sweet, sour and salty. Just not bitter. It also has one of my favorite aromatic herbs, lemongrass. This soup is also under study for its wonderful health benefits, which include boosting your immune system to help fight viruses and diseases. Here is the recipe for this delicious healthy soup!
- 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 stalk lemongrass , minced.
- 3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 red chilies, finely sliced, OR substitute 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- a generous handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
- 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk, OR 1/2 can evaporated milk
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- optional: 1/2 tsp. sugar
- optional: extra vegetables of your choice
- Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the lemongrass and boil for 1-2 minutes. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor .
- Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1-2 minutes. (I could not find the lime leaves, so I used 2 teaspoons of lime zest and the juice of one lime)
- Add the shrimp (plus other vegetables, I used bok choy). Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk plus fish sauce and lime juice. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot. Test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt (I usually add 1 more Tbsp.), or more chili as desired. If too sour, add 1/2 tsp. sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you’d like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
- Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over.