Nature’s Basket is one of my favourite places to shop at. I can spend hours just checking out exotic vegetables, fruits, ingredients and conjure up recipes in my head. Sometimes I end up with a good recipe while sometimes I get absolutely confused with so many options. A few months ago, I signed up for the Coup Card by brown paper bag because of its amazing benefits. Click here to read all about it. One of the benefits is that I am entitled to 12.5% discount at Nature’s Basket. So last week, I went there equipped with my Coup Card, all set to buy a whole bunch of things. As I walked down the aisle I came across the Asian section. Although I love eating it, I’ve never been comfortable cooking noodles or playing with South East Asian flavours; that part is still alien to me.
I browsed through the noodle section and picked up Rice Noodle which I know when you cook taste absolutely delicious. Then I found this bottle of Tom Yum Soup Paste, Massaman Curry Paste and a Lemongrass Wok Sauce. These pastes allow me to make about 10 to 15 different dishes. I’ve already made three of them!
Today I will share my recipe for a light, fresh and piquant soup called Tom Yum Soup. Traditionally, it is made by using stock, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and chilli. Then you can add any vegetable of meat of your choice. I tweaked the recipe a bit and made it a complete meal instead of just a soup.
You need just a few ingredients to make this and I’m pretty sure you might want make it for dinner tonight. Before we move on to the recipe, I’d like to tell you about some of my favourite and new ingredients that I have used in cooking this dish. They deserve a moment to be acknowledged for their sheer brilliance.
First you need the tom yum paste. Real Thai makes these amazing pastes which makes our lives so much simpler. Yes, making it fresh at home is great, but when you have this option, might as well take it.
I suggest tasting a bit of the uncooked paste to understand its flavour and adjust it with other ingredients while you cook.
The next flavouring agent in this dish is kaffir lime leaves. A few leaves go a long way in flavouring this soup or any other dish. It has a lemony and sweet fragrance which is absolutely divine. I’m obsessed with its aroma nowadays and it might stick around for long.
Another ingredient that I absolutely love now is baby pak choy. I love how they make every dish so fresh and crunchy and you don’t even need to chop them. Just tear it up and you’re ready to go! My friend’s mom loves char grilling it with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Another friend likes to stir fry it with burnt garlic.
Last but not the least; baby radish. They look like cherries at first but look closer and they are white inside. Slice and add them to salads or use it in stir fries or soups like I did.
Let’s start with the recipe…
Prawn Tom Yum Soup with Rice Noodles
Real Thai Tom Yum Soup Paste – 5 tsps
Chicken stock cubes – 2
Kaffir lime leaves – 3 leaves, thinly sliced
Baby pak choy – 5 to 6
Baby radish – 5
Mushrooms – 2 cups, sliced
Prawns – 200 g
Water – 700 ml + more for cooking noodles
Oil – 2 tbsp
Rice noodles – 250g
Soy sauce and crushed chillies for seasoning
Coriander to garnish
In a wok, heat up some oil and fry up the tom Yum Soup Paste. The rich flavour needs a little heat to get started.
To this, add the chicken stock cubes and water. If you have fresh chicken stock, then feel free to use it. Sprinkle in the kaffir lime leaves.
Now the flavours are really bubbling. Add the mushrooms and cook them for a couple of minutes.
At this point, I slice up the baby radishes and keep them aside. Just look at how beautiful they are with that blush in the middle.
When the mushrooms look cooked, it’s time to flavour it with some crushed chilli flakes.
Clean the baby pak choy by just cutting off the ends.
They look like rose buds, don’t they?
Tear the leaves and add it to the simmering soup. Don’t worry if it looks chunky. It’ll all just shrink up.
Just when you think it’s ready, tip in the prawns; they barely need a couple of minutes to cook. Also add the radish at this point. Let the soup simmer for another 2 minutes and take it off the heat.
Simultaneously, in a large pan heat up some water. Just when it starts to simmer, add the rice noodles and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep separating it with a fork like this .
Drain and keep aside.
Assemble the dish in a bowl first with some noodles and drizzle it with soya sauce. Then pour the soup over it making sure you add the vegetables and prawns too. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately.