October 13, 2010

:: pantry raid - thai soup ::

i've had a craving for some thai soup lately, so i stopped by the store on my way home from work to pick up emongrass and veggies to make tom yum goong, a sweet & spicy soup with shrimp. you could also make tom yum gai (with chicken) or just tom yum (no meat).
as usual, i don't have a true recipe, but i'll do my best to tell you what i used, how much and how i put it all together.

i started with a medium sauce pan and moved up to a large pot because i figured i'd make a lot and have it for giveaways and leftovers.

ingredients needed:
+ lemongrass
+ basil
+ chili pepper
+ ginger
+ cilantro
[for each of the above, i like to use the tubes that are found in the produce section. the pastes/tubes just make for super easy storage, measuring and clean up.]
+ low sodium vegetable stock
+ fish sauce
+ minced garlic
+ 3-4 (or more) stalks green onion
+ lime leaves [i didn't have any, but i used a splash of lime juice & a little more basil for some punch]
+ shrimp [i used peeled & de-veined cooked frozen shrimp - tails removed]

those are the basics. you can leave out the fish sauce and shrimp for a vegan version.

i also used:
+ canned bamboo shoots [wish i'd done bean sprouts instead]
+ canned baby corn
[i only used about 1/3 of the can of each of the above. saved the rest for stir fry later this week.]
+ fresh snow peas
+ fresh asparagus

put the following in a large pot (in order) over medium to high heat:
4ish cups of vegetable stock
1-2 cups of water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
baby corn
bamboo shoots
green onion
lime leaves or lime juice or lime zest (or combination)

to that, add (in any order):
note: the following things are very roughly measured. as in, i just squeezed some from the tube and am now guessing how much that was. and i'm not good with estimating measurements. start on the small end and add more as needed. sorry. it's really hard to mess this up, because you can always add more water or stock to dull it if need be.
2-3 tbsp lemongrass
1/2 tbsp chili sauce [be careful - it can go from mild to hot pretty quickly with this!]
1-2 tbsp basil
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp garlic
1-2 tbsp ginger

stir together. taste. add a little salt & pepper as needed. (i did a tablespoon or so of pepper and maybe 2 teaspoons of salt, max. i don't like salt, but it's good to bring the flavors out.) how does it taste? do you want it spicier? add more chili pepper. want it to have more of that lemony tartness? add more lemongrass. need more sweetness? add basil. you can taste all of the flavorings alone to see what each brings to the dish and determine what you're missing and what you need to add.

once you get the broth where you like it, add the snow peas, asparagus and shrimp. (i save these for the end because the shrimp is cooked and only has to thaw and i like my snow peas & asparagus with some bite to them.)

once the shrimp has completely warmed through, you're ready to serve. the longer this sits, the better it tastes.

this post has not been proofread, so please excuse any typos you might find! i just wanted to hurry and get it up before i slacked off.

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