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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tangy Thai Tom Yam (Tom Yum) Fish Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Home-cooked Tangy Thai Tom Yam (Tom Yum) Fish
Home-cooked Tangy Thai Tom Yam (Tom Yum) Fish

Being born and bred in northern part of Malaysia, a state called Kedah where it borders Thai, I have the propensity to take hot and sour food to tantalize my taste buds. Sometimes I wonder if it's due to geographical factor that Kedah abounds with hot and sour fare that one can easily hunts down even in the narrow residential alley or this spicy-sour craving is inherent in my nature. Putting these uncertainties aside, one thing for sure, any Thai-or-Nyonya-inspired, -influenced or -originated food that encapsulates subtle and refined combination of herbs and spices to bring out its hot-sour-pungent flavor is captivating me, making me head over heels with the dish, leaving me feeling on cloud nine and wanting for more! Whilst Laksa still top my list, a piping hot bowl of tom yam soup comes to a close second.

My hot-and-sour craving struck me badly today, so instead of my initial intention of pan-frying black pomfret, I reconstituted tom yam (aka tom yum or dom yam) paste into a broth to make tom yam soup to goes with black pomfret, called tom yam pla (tom yum soup with fish). Due to the fact that tom yam paste always comes in handy in my fridge and I just brought over some fresh herbs, chillies and some home-grown greens from my hometown, I whipped this up within 40 minutes with bare minimum ingredient-searching time. It's basically a clear, spicy, sour soup which is the assemblage of fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, shallots, onions, lime juice, fish sauce, sliced red chilli peppers and a handful of bird's eye chillies to lend an extra spicy kick. Don't forget the final touch which is rather important for me, top the tom yam soup with generous sprinkling of fresh chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves. Coriander is a palate-teaser for me and it goes well with any dish.

If you're looking for tom yam recipe to cure your (or your the other half) hot and sour food craving, then look no more because this simple recipe has your answer. There may be some truth to the old adage that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Become a discerning wife or girlfriend with below easy how-to recipe, you may have more than his heart. *giggle*

Ingredients :

500g-600g black pomfret (黑鲳鱼), cut across into 2 or 3 portions
2 small brinjals (aka eggplants or aubergines) (茄子), cut into wedges (or 1 long Chinese brinjal)
2 stalks lemongrass (香茅), trim off the very end of the root and smash with the side of a knife
10 bird's eyes chillies, discard stems, keep whole
3 kaffir lime leaves (疯柑叶)
5 slices galangal (南姜)
(Tips: If galangal is not available, then substitute with double amount of ginger. Galangal is whiter in color than ginger but it's much more potent than regular ginger)
3 stalks coriander roots (use the root portion only) (aka cilantro) 芫茜
2 shallots (小葱), peeled and keep whole
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (酸柑汁)
3 tbsp tom yam paste (commercially available in Asian groceries, usually packed in bottle or package)
1 liter chicken stock or water
2 tbsp oil

Ingredients for Home-cooked Tangy Thai Tom Yam (Tom Yum) Fish
Ingredients for Tangy Thai Tom Yam Fish

Seasoning :
1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock
2-3 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
1 1/2 tsp sugar (or to taste)

Method :

1. Heat up oil in a wok, saute onion, lemongrass, galangal, shallots and tom yam paste for about 2-3 minutes until it exudes aromatic flavors.

2. Pour in fresh chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil. Add coriander roots, tomato, bird's eye chillies, sliced red chilli peppers, sliced brinjals and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer under medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Stir in lime juice and fish sauce. Put in the black pomfret fish slices and bring to a boil again. Adjust seasoning to taste. Once dished up, sprinkle with coriander leaves on top of the soup. Serve hot with white steamed rice.

Home-cooked Tangy Thai Tom Yam (Tom Yum) Fish
Home-cooked Tangy Thai Tom Yam (Tom Yum) Fish

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