quick tom yum soup

quick tom yum soup by the james kitchen
quick tom yum soup, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.

Last week at a party we were talking about this quick tom yum soup and I am fulfilling my promise to write about it (Hi Francisca and Sabrina!). I do not claim this to be the original recipe of the hot & sour soup from Laos and Thailand but we use the readily available tom yum paste to make a super fast & furiously invigorating dinner when we are in desperate need for some fast, tasty and healthy sustenance and really can not be bothered to cook much (can’t eat pizza everyday).

The fragrant, lemony sour and fresh but spicy tasting paste is made from Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers & oil comes in a jar and is a super stand-by in the fridge. All other ingredients might be on hand at home already, stocked in the freezer or quickly picked up, then chopped and briefly cooked in the spicy & sour broth within a few minutes, it could be even varied according to preference: vegetarian for one, mussels for another one, chicken for the next. Just make the base and let everyone add what they want.

So treat this recipe more like a blueprint and use what you have got or fancy – just pick and mix: edamame beans, green beans, peas, bok choi, choy sum, napa cabbage (Chinakohl), savoy cabbage (Wirsing), bean sprouts, sweet corn, carrots, mangetouts / snap or snow peas (Kaiserschoten), champignons (button mushrooms), dried shiitake, rice noodles, soba noodles, instant noodles, rice, brown rice, filled noodles, tortellini, vegetable dumplings, cooked chicken, prawns, fish, mussels, clams, scallops, calamari, tofu…. As I said: there are endless possibilities.

Quick tom yum soup
Ingredients for one, multiply & vary according to your stocks

½ l (2 cups) water
1 teaspoon organic vegetable stock powder or ¼ little cube
3 teaspoons Tom Yum paste
about 30-40g brown rice noodles or any other noodles, rice, dumplings
cooked chicken or prawns or vegetable dumplings (fresh or frozen)
10 mangetouts, snow or snap peas (Kaiserschoten), cut into stamp sized pieces
2 brown champignons (button mushrooms), sliced
4 stems of choy sum or bok choi, rougly choppped
2 spring onions, chopped
a few coriander leaves

Gather, wash, chop & prep or precook your ingredients.

Pour cooking water into a small saucepan, add stock powder and tom yum paste, the prepared vegetables & noodles and other ingredients like cooked chicken or mussels or what you might want to add. Cook for a few minutes, mainly to heat everything through and the vegetable still keep a little crunch. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and eat.

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