Tom Yum Goong {Thai Hot and Sour Prawn Soup}

You already know I am in Thailand and that I find Chiang Mai magical and 
I wanna be here for a reaaaaally long time.
One of the reasons for this is the food, of course, the friends I made here and the beauty I see around whenever I go anywhere, not to mention cooking for the monks, 
which makes my heart sing.
So I won't bore you with the long blurb and will show you one of my friends shop, where she made this soup for me to enjoy!

The place is full of character, gorgeous items and a deliciously peaceful atmosphere. Ma's is lovely and her place is gorgeous and it made the experience extra pleasant.

Oh, yes, the recipe for her Tom Yam is below !!!! 


Mah's  Yummy Tom Yum Recipe 

You will need:
{serves 2}

700ml water
1 inch of fresh galangal
2 stalks lemongrass
1/2 inch of fresh turmeric {optional}
4 birds eye chillies
6 button or oyster mushrooms
4 kaffir lime leaves
200g tiger prawns
Lime Juice
Fish sauce {nam pla}
Nam Prik Pao {Sweet Chilli Jam}
Coconut milk {optional}

As with all cooking, specially Asian food, prepare all ingredients before 
beginning the cooking process.
Chop the mushrooms in 4 pieces lengthwise.
Bash a couple of times with a rolling pin or a pestle the galangal, turmeric and lemongrass to release the oils and aroma and chop them roughly.
Remove the mid vein of the kaffir lime leave {so it does not make your food bitter} and tear it apart also roughly as it shows on picture above.

Peel the head of the prawns and remove the eyes and the shell 
leaving the tail so it looks pretty and you can hold 
the prawn AND retain certain charm at the table if eating with guests.
If not, do as you please. I leave the shells and eat with my hands, sucking the head as it is full of flavour, specially if the prawn is massive... yum}.

You can, if you want to cut the 'back' of the prawn and remove the vein, like Mah is doing 
for you to see, but we only did one for the picture. 
I, personally, never do. It never tasted off, I never got poisoned and I always enjoyed it a LOT.

Bring the water to boil {any pan is ok, but we used a wok that was handy} and put in galangal, turmeric {if using}, lemongrass, boil again and add the mushrooms. Bring to boil once more and add the prawns. After it boils, add the kaffir lime leaves and stir.

After the prawns change to a pink colour {which means they are now cooked}, it is time to switch off the fire and season the soup.
NOW: Delicate moment as it is very personal.
You squeeze the lime and splash some nam pla, nam prik pao and coconut milk {if using}.

It was a pleasure to buy fresh sweet chilli jam fresh from the market {seen in the plastic bag} but Mah thought it was too oily and had a jar of it opened already, so we used that, which is probably what you will also find in your local asian shops.

Keep tasting until you find the balance between 
sour, salty and chilli to your own taste.
Serve the soup with all the stuff inside.
I have had as many tom yums here as you can imagine. Clear broth, with coconut milk, with tomatoes {but I dislike them in this soup}, with holy basil and many other herbs, with noodles and many other ways. So as I say often to all recipes, have fun cooking
and let me know if you have any doubts.
If you do not have any particular ingredient, don't be put off making this recipe.
Just use anything you have handy as it is your own soup.
Enjoy cooking!!! And, of course, eating it!

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