It's not that I only cook Asian food these days, but it's close.
I made Thai Tom Yum soup on Father's Day at the behest of the resident dad of the house. His day, his choice. Anyway, I learned to make it by following the recipe from the cookbook of one of my favorite restaurants in Telluride - Honga's Lotus Petal.
Honga's Tom Yum was the first I ever had. It's a hot and sour type thing, where the dominant flavors are lemongrass and fish sauce. The tamarind is a important player too. I remember how psyched Honga's cooks were when they were able to get fresh tamarind into the kitchen. Fresh tamarind is hard enough to come by here in the city - getting it to a town at 8750 feet and over 300 miles from Denver is downright amazing. I, however, use tamarind paste for this. I picked it up at an Asian grocer and it stores very well in the fridge. It also goes into Pad Thai, which you should try at home if you haven't.
Thai Tom Yum Soup
Print recipe only here
64 oz chicken broth - Imagine Organic
2 stalks lemongrass, pounded and thinly sliced
Zest of 2 limes (peel using vegetable peeler)
2 inches peeled, fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 T tamarind paste
2 T sugar
¼ cup tomato sauce or a equivalent chopped tomatoes
2 stalks celery, sliced
Handful mushrooms, thinly sliced (optional)
1 # shrimp, peeled and cleaned
2-3 green onions, sliced on diagonal
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Add stock, lemongrass, lime zest, ginger, garlic and curry paste to a soup pot and bring to a boil, stirring to blend all ingredients. Turn down heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add fish sauce, lemon juice, tamarind, tomato sauce or tomatoes and sugar and simmer another 10-15 minutes.
Use a mesh strainer to strain the soup into a separate soup pot. Add the celery and mushrooms to the strained soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add shrimp and boil another 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Add green onions and cilantro and serve.