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Tom Yum Koong - Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup - Updated

This is a traditional Thai soup. To make it properly, you need to layer the flavors, rather than throwing everything into the pot at one time. 

Done properly, this is one of the world's great soups. Even better, it is very low in fat and very tasty. Note: I've adjusted some of the quantities of ingredients to make it even better.

I have heard from a few people that some of the ingredients are somewhat hard to find. If you have a local Asian market, they often keep the galangal and kaffir lime leaves in the freezer section. Both freeze very well. 

Barring that, here is a great Thai produce site to find everything you need. Use what you need of the lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves and freeze the rest.

6 cups low sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 - 3/4 lb Shrimp, shelled and deveined with shells, heads and tails retained.
3 pieces of sliced Galangal, softened with back of your knife.
2 stalks Lemon Grass, peeled and tough ends cut off and softened with back of your knife.
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and mashed.
3-5 fresh Thai Chilies, sliced in half.
8 Kaffir Lime leaves
1 Tbsp Chili Paste with Soya Bean Oil, see picture and note below.

1 cup Fresh Oyster Mushrooms, chopped into bite size pieces.2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
3-4 fresh Limes, juiced
Fresh Cilantro for garnish.

Begin by heating up your oil in a medium to large stock pot. Then add in your galangal, garlic, chilies and lemon grass and retained shrimp shells and sauté them briefly until the aroma starts to release. 

Add in your vegetable broth and kaffir lime leaves  bring it up to a soft simmer. Allow this to gently simmer for about 20 minutes. 

Then strain off the broth and return to your pan. Add your chili paste and oyster mushrooms. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and then add your fish sauce and shrimp. Cook just until the shrimp turn pink. This will take only a minute or so.

Add your lime juice, adjust to taste, top with fresh cilantro and remove from the heat and serve.

Note: Sugar is often added to Tom Yum Koong, but I found the chili paste I used was quite sweet, so I omitted any additional sugar. If you can find Thai Nam Prik Pao (Roasted Chili Paste) then you might need the sugar. If so, 1 tsp would be suffcient.


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