Tom Yam Kung is the Thai name given to probably the most popular spicy seafood soup emanating from Thailand. So much so that it's fast becoming extremely well known throughout the rest of the world. You need only visit the tropical paradise once to be aware of its superior classic proportions. This hot spicy shrimp soup is exquisitely complimented with many mouthwatering ingredients such as mushrooms, red chilli peppers, lemongrass, scallion, cilantro and kaffir lime leaves, as well as the famous "Nam pla" fish sauce.
12 Jumbo shrimps (shelled)
4 Cups chicken stock or water
3 Lemongrass stalks (roots trimmed)
8 Kaffir Lime leaves (torn)
4 Fresh hot red chilli peppers (seeded and thinly sliced)
1 Cup of fresh button or straw mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms can also be used)
2 Tablespoons scallion or spring onions (chopped)
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
3 Tablespoons *Nam Pla (fish sauce)
4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh coriander (chopped)
*Nam Pla is a fish sauce made from salted anchovies which are placed into wooden barrels for fermentation to occur. The sauce itself does not actually impart a fishy flavour, but it does accentuate the taste of food.
1) Remove shells and pull out vein from shrimps and set aside. Place the shells in a strainer and rinse under cold water then put them into a large saucepan. Add chicken stock or water and bring to the boil.
2) Bruise the lemongrass stalks and cut the kaffir lime leaves roughly using a scissor or serrated knife. Place the lemongrass and half the lime leaves into the water with or without the chicken stock. Turn down the heat and gently simmer for 5-6 minutes until stock becomes fragrant.
3) Strain the stock and place into a clean saucepan and return to heat. Add mushrooms (sliced if needed) and whole shrimps. Add coconut milk only as an option. Cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until shrimps turns pink. If you are using dried shiitake mushrooms, you need to soak them first in water for an hour before thinly slicing.
4) Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, scallions, chillies, cilantro leaves and the remaining lime leaves. Add salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. The end result of your freshly prepared Tom Yam Kung Shrimp Soup should be spicy, salty, sour and hot. Garnish with coriander and serve.
Thai Chicken Soup with coconut milk and chillies is extremely easy to prepare and once accomplished you're complemented with a distinctive flavour that's simply Thai. The perfect balance of spicy, sweet and sour to warm up any winter night.
Green Papaya Salad, also known as "som tam" is a popular salad enjoyed by many the world over. Add to the tarty papaya taste green beans, finely sliced carrots, diced tomatoes, peanuts and dried shrimp. Then top up with a nice tangy chilli lime dressing and enjoy.
Thai Beef Salad can easily be prepared with thinly sliced grilled or boiled beef and a healthy helping of your favourite salad greens and then topped with a tasty Thai salad dressing. This salad can be served as a starter or as a main course.
Thai Chicken Stir Fry with lots of crunchy veggies, cashew nuts and then topped with fresh basil is quick and simple to make. Couple this with your favourite rice and you'll have a tasty dish fit for a king or queen. Make it once and you'll be hooked over and over again.
Thai Barbecued Chicken marinated in your favourite sweet and sour sauce with added garlic and then grilled to perfection is a great way to enjoy a festive meal with family and friends. Easy to prepare and a tasty dish everyone will surely love.
Thai Fish Cakes are a common sight on the streets of Thailand. While salmon is widely utilized you can easily prepare these cakes with just about any inexpensive white fish too. In many cases, they are more flavoursome than western varieties.
Thai Style Fried Banana is a popular snack sold from street stalls and floating markets throughout Thailand. Though they are easy to prepare, make sure you don't use overripe bananas. Fried bananas are excellent as a dessert and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Thai Spring Rolls are great as a snack. They are easy to make and can be made with your favourite vegetables, including tofu, with baby shrimp or chicken breast. Complement this with a peanut or sweet chilli sauce.
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