Using the vegan fish sauce I made, I decided to whip up a hot and spicy tom yam kway teow soup for lunch. I found Chef in you blog and I headed to the supermarket to find the freshest ingredients after jotting down the recipe.
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 people
Yield: Serves 2 as a main course and 4 as an appetizer
- 6 cups Water or Vegetable stock (I used 4 cups of water)
- 3 Kaffir Lime leaves (see Tips) (I could not find this)
- 2-3 inches of Galangal, sliced (see Tips)
- 1 stalk Lemongrass, minced (see Tips) (I used 4 stalks of lemongrass)
- 4 tbsp Soy Sauce (or to taste) (1 cup of vegan fish sauce)
- 1 tbsp Lime juice (I used 1 lemon instead)
- 1 cup Baby Mushrooms, sliced (or use any mushrooms)
- 1 Carrot, julienned (I used green peas)
- 12.3 Oz Mori Nu (Extra Firm) Silken Tofu (see Tips)
- 2 Spring Onions, sliced thinly (I did not add this)
- 1-2 tsp Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies, crushed; or to taste (See Tips)
- 5.46 fl.oz (about 3/4 cup) Thai Coconut milk (see Tips) (I wanted a clear soup so I did not add this)
- 1/2 tbsp sugar, or to taste (optional)
- About 1 cup Cilantro (or use Thai Basil), chopped
- 1 tablespoon of Thai Chilli sauce
Please Remember that with every ingredient that you substitute the flavor of the soup changes (and possibly further away from traditional Thai flavors).
1. Kaffir Lime Leaves – I had a hard time finding the fresh ones and finally managed to locate shredded lime leaves in a bottle and used them. These shredded bits bothered my husband while having the soup, hence next time I might use them to flavor the stock and filter them away before using it in the soup.
2. Galangal – Though Ginger is often touted as a substitute for Galangal, I personally think that the aroma and taste that it had was no way remotely close to ginger. It lacks the sharp peppery taste of ginger and instead has an immensely citrusy flavor. Reminded me of Eucalyptus. See if you can find the bottled version before using Ginger.
3. Lemongrass – Try to find the fresh ones. Don’t go for the powdered/ dried versions. Also try the freezer cos some shops carry the frozen lemongrass. To prep the lemongrass, remove the tough outer leaves and chop off about 2 inches of the lower bulb. Slice the fleshy part – about 2/3rds of the stalk. The upper end will be mostly green and woody and is not great for slicing. You can use these as it is for soups/broths.
4. Tofu – You can use any soft tofu. I have been generous with my tofu since I was going for a soup-as-a-meal. About 1 cup of tofu should be enough as an appetizer.
5. Chillies – The Bird’s Eye Chilli is authentic to this soup. But if not available, you can use dried red chillies.
6. Coconut Milk – Few versions use coconut milk, while few others don’t. You can instead increase the stock or use few tbsp of coconut cream or just plain milk. I had a can lying around that I wanted to use and hence did. Use as per taste
1. Bring the stock/water to a boil. Add Galangal, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves to the broth.
2. Next goes in the tofu and carrots. The carrots need to soften and the tofu needs to absorb the flavor to prevent it from being bland.
3. Once the water comes to boil and the carrots are almost soft, add the mushrooms.
4. After 1 -2 mins add the soy sauce and sugar is using. You can do a taste test and see if you need any more seasoning.
5. Then add the lime juice, chillies and cilantro. Adding them last helps to keep the broth fresh tasting and full of flavor. Taste test again – You can add more crushed chillies for extra zing and spiciness. If you need more salt, add little more soy sauce (or just plain old salt). If you find that you have added lots of lime juice and its tasting sour, add sugar. But if the salt-sweet ratio seems kinda off, add little more lime juice. The recipe is dependent on customization to one’s palate and needs. So feel free to make changes.
6. Boil the kway teow noodles in the packet and placed them in serving bowls. Once soup is done, pour into noodles and enjoy!
As Hubby Ro does not enjoy soups which are too spicy, I was conscious to make it more sour instead and the mix of the vegetables with the fish sauce was great. It was a really simple meal to whip up and the raw cashew nut toppings at the end brought a really crunchy texture to our meal.