Tom Yum Soup with Mushrooms and Tofu
This original tom yum soup recipe from Thailand is a wonderful hot and spicy thai soup that will warm your body for hours during the cold season. It can even be enjoyed as main course with a side of rice or rice noodles.
Great for: heart healthy, low cholesterol, vegan
Ingredients for tom yum soup:
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3 large stalks lemongrass
- 12 wild lime leaves (optional)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 fresh green jalapeno chili, stemmed and cut into thick round slices
- 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup canned whole straw mushrooms, well drained; or sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons roasted chili paste (see below)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
Ingredients for roasted chili paste:
- 1/2 cup small dried red chilies, stemmed and halved crosswise
- 1/2 cup shallots, peeled and cut lengthwise into chunks
- 8-10 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons tamarind liquid
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Directions for roasted chili paste:
- In a wok or heavy skillet, dry-fry the chilies over medium heat until dark, fragrant, and brittle for 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently as you roast. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
- Increase the heat of the wok and dry-fry the shallots and garlic until they are soft and wilted, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
- Shake and discard most of the chili seeds, then crumble them into small pieces. Chop the shallots and garlic coarsely. Combine them all in a food processor and pulse to a coarse paste. Scrape down the sides of the processor occasionally. Add 1/4 cup of canola oil and grind to a fairly smooth paste. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Pour the remaining oil into the wok and heat to medium heat. After about 1 minute, add a bit of the chili paste to make sure it sizzles. Then add all the chili paste and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until darker and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Combine sugar, tamarind, soy sauce in a small bowl and stir well. Add this mix to the cooled chili paste and combine. Note that the paste may be oily, so it must be stirred well before each use.
Directions for tom yum soup:
- In a large saucepan, bring vegetable stock for tom yum soup to boil over medium heat. Meanwhile trim lemongrass stalks: cut away hard dried root portions and leave the smooth base below the bulb. Trim away tops and any dried brown parts. You should have 6-inch long stalks including the bulbous base. Using a heavy knife or the blunt edge of a cleaver blade, bruise each stalk and whack it firmly at 2-inch intervals. Bruise on all sides. Then cut into 2-inch lengths.
- When the stock is boiling, add bruised lemongrass sticks and half of the lime leaves. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the stock is fragrant and the lemongrass has faded into a dull green, about 5 minutes.
- In a large serving bowl, combine the lime juice, remaining lime leaves, and green onions. Add a few of the chili slices to the bowl to taste.
- Scoop out the lemongrass from the stock and discard it. Raise to high heat and add the tofu, straw mushrooms, roasted chili paste, sugar and soy sauce. Stir well, and when the tom yum soup boils again, remove it from the heat. Pour it over the other ingredients in the serving bowl and stir to combine everything. Serve tom yum soup at once.