Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Spicy Prawn soup with Lemongrass Tom Yam Goong

One of the best known Thai dishes abroad, this flavourful but spicy soup is hot, sour and fragrant, an ideal accompaniment to other Thai dishes and rice. The Kaffir lime leaves, galangal and lemon grass are what gives this soup its tangy flavour, but are not meant to be eaten, so tell your guests to avoid them while eating the broth, prawns and mushrooms.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

4 cups (1litre) Thai Chicken Stock
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 in (5cm) fresh galangal root, sliced 3-4 coriander roots, washed (optional) 3 stems lemongrass, thick bottom part only, dry outer sheath discarded, smashed with back of a cleaver
6-9 medium prawns or shrimp, shells intact
1 cup (5 ox/150g) fresh o canned straw mushrooms or small button mushrooms, sliced in half 5-10 bird’s-eye chillies, smashed 3 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste 3 spring fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

Bring the stock to a boil and add kaffir lime leaves, galangal, coriander roots and lemongrass. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the prawns or shrimp, mushrooms and chillies, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and fish sauce (which is very salty) to taste. The soup should be spicy-sour and a little salty. Serve garnished with fresh coriander leaves (cilantro).

Note: Do not overcook the prawns or they will become tough. Use home-made chicken stock in this dish for the best flavour. Any variety of seafood may be substituted for or added to the prawns – including sliced fish, crab or squid.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Som Tam Salad

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 1 or 2 papaya
  • 2 tsp of toasted peanuts
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1-2 fresh Thai birds eye chilli (or more to if you want more spicy)
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1½ tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Thai snake beans (or green beans) cut into 1 inch sticks

  1. Roughly crush a small handful of unsalted peanuts with mortar and pestle. Set aside. Wipe the mortar and pestle clean.
  2. Peel the papaya ), shred it with a shredder to thin strips and soak them in cold water while you prepare the rest of the salad. This makes the papaya crunchier and gets rid of any excess starch from the swede.
  3. Cut the end of the green beans and then cut into strips
  4. Take the chillies and peeled garlic and add them in the mortar. Gentle start crushing the ingredients in the mortar to release the flavours, which will be the base of the dish.
  5. Add the crushed peanuts and mix well with a spoon
  6. Add the shredded papaya and continue crushing the ingredients with the pestle to combine the ingredients. Also using a spoon to make sure all the ingredients are covered evenly.
  7. Finally add sugar, tomatoes, beans, lime juice and fish sauce and mix again.
  8. Now it is ready to serve on a plate with crushed peanuts as garnish