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Monday, March 03, 2008

Tom Yum Goong (Vegetarian)


Soups are the easiest to make and heartiest to enjoy, don't you think? I make several quick Asian soups that are just my version, suited to D's and my tastes, like hot and sour, sweet and sour, and some Thai soups as the one here - nothing spectacular, just tasty and filling.

As with most of my recipes, this is just my version of Tom Yum Goong, not entirely authentic. As I am a bit too lazy and impulsive to hunt for all the authentic ingredients and follow a traditional recipe, I usually end up making suitable substitutions and adjusting it to my tastes - I am not fond of fish paste or shrimp paste, so, I usually leave it out in my Asian recipes.

If fresh lemongrass stalks are not handy, I usually substitute with lemongrass powder, which I always try to have in my stash of spice powders. If using fresh lemongrass, pound or coarsely grind the bottom part of it, and boil the top part in the soup for added flavor. Dried galanga is nice to have, just reconstitute in water; but, mostly I substitute regular ginger as it is more readily available.

Depending on my mood, I vary the balance of the various spices in this recipe, so this version here is just a suggestion... flavors can easily be adjusted to taste while cooking.

This is yet another dish that is low-carb and low-fat that fits in with D's new diet plan, and mine, of course... I try to make it less spicy first and reserve some of the soup for Ana, then adjust flavors to my preference. I stir in a bit of cooked rice into Ana's soup so she gets more carbs and I also toss in some peanuts for proteins and fats as she needs it at her tender 2¾ age :)
[No, I am not really a nutritionist, nor do I want to pretend to be one, but, I like to stay informed and make sure we know what we ingest on a regular basis].

for the soup base:
1 Tbsp lemongrass powder OR 2 large stalks of fresh lemon grass
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
¼ medium onion, diced (or equivalent shallots, if handy)
2-4 serrano chilies (or any kind whose heat you prefer and can enjoy)
1 tsp tamarind paste (or 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3-4 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp Nam Prik Pow paste (optional)
1 Tbsp soybean oil or canola oil

vegetables: bell peppers, mushroom, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, potatoes
½ pkg firm Tofu, cubed
4-6 cups of vegetable stock (or equivalent bullion cubes and water)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup light coconut milk (optional)

garnish: spring onions and coriander

  1. combine the soup base ingredients and grind to a fine paste
  2. heat the canola oil in a pan, add the soup base and sauté a bit till aromatic and rawness fades
  3. add the stock, tofu and vegetables, cover and cook till vegetables are cooked but not mushy
  4. stir in the coconut milk, if using, and simmer for a few minutes
  5. taste and adjust flavors - add more chili paste if too bland, or more tamarind paste if not tangy enough
  6. garnish as desired and serve hot

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  • At 3:46 AM, Blogger Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said…

    Loved the recipe and the unique name too..Tom Yum Goong. Must be very tasty. Thanks for sharing, eh !

  • At 11:31 PM, Blogger Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said…

    Loved the soup..the colour itself entices to have a sip...nice recipe, eh !

  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Alpa said…

    wow, that soup sounds amazing! love the easy recipe. i bought some prepackaged hot & sour paste to make this awhile back, but it never tastes as good as i want it to. will try your version, i have a huge glug of lemongrass growing in the backyard.

  • At 4:41 AM, Blogger mallugirl said…

    funny but i was searching for this soup with out shrimp couple of days back and now i come across it! thanks a lot!

  • At 5:10 PM, Blogger Susan from Food Blogga said…

    I have found lemongrass at our farmers' market but I've never seen powder. This is a wholesome, soothing bowl of soup.


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