Tom yum goong translates to an easy and authentic Thai spicy shrimp soup made with lemongrass, galangal, mushrooms, and fish sauce. Yum!
What makes tom yum goong so compelling? The fact that it’s so easy yet tastes so authentic? Its elusive lilt of lemongrass? The sour, puckery smack of tamarind? The warm-your-belly pervasiveness of galangal? The unmistakably forthright—and, let’s face it, slightly funky—flavor of fish sauce? Or how they meld to marvie effect in this exquisitely authentic rendering of an oft-replicated, but rarely-true-to-tradition, Thai soup? Pucker up for a perfectly pitched and traditional tang from Thai chef Tanaporn Tangwibulchai of Thai Market. It’s on the waaaay Upper West Side, it’s where chef Tangwibulchai presides, and it’s what we’re hearing uttered in hushed, nay, reverential tones by those who know Thai food. This recipe has been updated. Originally published March 5, 2013.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Tom Yum Goong Soup Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 25 M
- Serves 6
- 3 stalks lemongrass, green part and root trimmed, remaining section cut into 3 pieces
- 5 kaffir lime leaves, each torn into 4 pieces
- 2-inch piece galangal or ginger, sliced crosswise into 6 to 7 pieces
- 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) cold water
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (you know, the block of brown tamarind found in Asian markets)
- 7 to 10 tamarind tendrils (optional)
- 3 to 15 bird’s eye chile peppers, smashed, to taste
- 2 tablespoons nam prik pao (roasted chile paste)
- 1/4 cup sliced button mushrooms
- 4 to 8 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
- 6 to 12 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
- 1. In a large pot, bring the lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal or ginger, and water to a boil and then lower the heat to medium. Add the shrimp, tamarind paste, tamarind tendrils (if using), chile peppers, and nam prik pao and simmer just until the shrimp is cooked through.
- 2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the mushrooms, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro, and serve.
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