Now as I have stated previously I am no expert in Asian cooking, I have to follow recipes and trust they will turn out. This one was a 10 out of 10 from all my family members tonight, they loved it. My husband said it was better than a lot of the ones he had eating out. I was quite excited by that comment.
Now I do use a Tom Yum Paste here, I am not at the level where I want to make my own pastes. I had a houseful of starving people who wanted dinner quick, this is a meal that you can make in 40 minutes, so I am okay with using a paste. The recipe states you can use a Thai Red Curry Paste instead of the Tom Yum Paste, I haven't tried it, but it should work just fine.
This is a spicy soup, not one where your tongue and lips go numb, but it does have a good kick to it.
The only thing I changed in this recipe is the cooking time of the prawns, following the original recipe I overcooked them (and I new they would be overcooked), but as normal, the first time I make a recipe I follow it without changing things, then I tweak things if needed the next time. But at least I now know what an overcooked prawn tastes like.
Next time my husband suggests I should add a few more things like lemongrass and ginger to the stock, and mushrooms at the end with the broccoli. So will let you know if it works when I do. It works, so add it in.
So if you are a novice at Asian cooking like me, you can make this, as it was easy and tasty.
500g raw medium sized prawn
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons Tom Yum Paste
1 lemongrass stalk, sliced in half lengthways
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
2 tablespoons tamarind puree
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chopped red chillies
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small florets
6-8 mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, for serving
Rice Vermicelli Noodles, for serving
Peel the prawns, leaving the tails on. Place the prawn heads and shells in a large saucepan. Remove the dark vein from the prawn, it comes out easily when you pull it gently from the head end. Place the cleaned prawns in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Pour the oil in the saucepan with the shells and heads. Over medium heat, cook the prawn shells and heads for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The colour of the prawn heads will turn a deep orange.
Add 1 cup (250ml) water and the Tom Yum paste to the prawn heads, stir, bring to the boil, cook for 5 minutes, or until reduced slightly.
Add 8 cups (2 litres) more water, the lemongrass and ginger, bring to the boil, simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the soup into another pot, discard the rest.
Add the tamarind puree, turmeric, chilli and lime leaves to the prawn stock, bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes. Add the prawns, cook for 1 minute, or until pink.
Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
Serve with rice vermicelli noodles and sprinkled with coriander leaves.
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