This is the classic creamier style of tom yum, made with evaporated milk and rich with fragrant lemongrass and galangal.
- 6 birds’ eye chillies
- 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised and cut into thirds lengthways
- 5 cm (2 inch) piece galangal, sliced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 tbsp evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp nam prik pao (see Note)
- 200 g (7 oz) peeled and deveined prawns
- 100 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 100 g (3.5 oz) straw or button mushrooms, quartered
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 5 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 3 stalks coriander (cilantro), leaves and stems roughly chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Serves 4 in the traditional small bowls to accompany a meal or serves 2 as a stand-alone soup.
1. Use a mortar and pestle to lightly bruise the chillies. Set aside for later.
2. Place 4 cups of water, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes to infuse the flavours. Add the evaporated milk and the nam prik pao. Stir through to dissolve the nam prik pao. Then add the prawns, tomatoes, mushrooms and chillies. Simmer until prawns are just cooked.
3. Turn the heat off and add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Taste and season with extra fish sauce or lime juice to taste. The flavour should be tangy, salty and spicy.
4. Just before serving, stir through the coriander.
• Nam prik pao is a concentrated roasted Thai chilli jam. It often includes chillies, garlic, shallots, dried shrimp and shrimp paste. It’s available from Asian grocery stores or online Thai supermarkets.