Tom Yum Gung - Thai Prawn Soup
Recipe for a spicy Thai prawn soup with chili and lemongrass
This spicy soup is a kind of staple food in the coastal regions of Thailand. Due to its various ingredients and citrus flavour, the soup has an interesting fruity-sour note. The soup is also very quick and easy to prepare. The Kaffir lime leaves, the galangal, the fish sauce and Tom Yum Paste can all be found in Asian food shops.
Ingredients (for 4 people):
300 g Prawns / Shrimps
2 spring onions
8 cocktail tomatoes
5 mushrooms or Thai mushrooms
2 small red chilies
1 piece (approx. 5 cm) Galangal (Thai ginger)
2 stalks of lemongrass
4 Kaffir lime leaves
½ bundle of fresh coriander
4 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp Chili paste (Tom Yum Paste)
Optional: Coconut milk
Remove the tails and intestines from the prawns. Chop the lemongrass into 5-6 cm long pieces, and press them apart with the knife handle slightly so that they can later develop their full flavour. Then tie them together with a piece of string.
Simmer the lemongrass and the prawns for approx. 10-15 minutes in 3 cups of water. In the meantime, chop the galangal into 3 mm thick slices, quarter the mushrooms, clean the chilies and cut them into fine rings. Remove the stem from the Kaffir lime leaves and chop them finely. Chop the spring onions into slices.
Pour the stock through a sieve and put it back into the pot. Add the chilies, fish sauce, galangal, Kaffir lime leaves, spring onions and mushrooms, and simmer everything for approx. 5 minutes. Then add the shrimps and the cocktail tomatoes, and let everything simmer for a further 3 minutes. The soup is ready when the prawns have turned a reddish colour.
Season to taste with the lime juice and chili paste. If desired, add some coconut milk. Garnish with some fresh coriander.
You can enjoy the soup on its own or with some Thai fragrant rice.
Tip: Although in Europe Asian dishes are often cooked with vegetable or chicken stock, you should ideally rely on the intensity of the original ingredients. A Tom Yum Gung soup should taste like shrimps and Kaffir lime leaves, and not like chicken stock.