Monday, December 28, 2009
Gourmet Gin is Simmering a Pot of Tom Yum Soup
I am surrounded by people with the flu, people with Mono (for over an entire YEAR) people that are now on their second cold, people that are plagued with allergies, people who claim their immune systems are "just out of whack" and then there is me.
I happy, healthy, smiling merrily on my way. Well, I might not be smiling "merrily" on my way, because I am the one taking care of all these people. (Which explains my lack of blogging. Well, that and the fact that I have a new camera that might take me all of 2010 to learn how to use!)
This brings me to the topic of the day. Tom Yum Soup. Tom Yum Soup is being studied has you read this blog for it's ability to boost your immune system. It is thought that the soup can fight cold and flu viruses and quite possibly cancer. I really can't say enough on how scrumptious this soup is. Here is my recipe, but there are one hundred different ways to prepare Tom Yum Soup.
Gin's Tom Yum Soup Recipe
•4 cups good-tasting chicken stock (I used homemade)
•1 stalk lemongrass, minced, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
•3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
•10 cloves garlic, minced
•1-2 red chilies, finely sliced, and 1 teaspoon dried crushed chili
•3 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at all Asian/Chinese food stores and some supermarket chains)
•12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
•1/2 cup coconut milk (more to your taste)
• 2 packages of ramen noodles, spice packets saved for another day
• fresh limes
• fresh cilantro
•optional: extra vegetables of your choice (I put none in this batch because of Mr. Picky Head)
(1.)Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and bring to a boil. (2.) Add the lemongrass and boil for 1-2 minutes. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the tops of the stalks for extra flavor. (3.)Add garlic, chili, lime leaves and Ramen Noodles. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until Ramen is cooked. (4.) Add the shrimp (plus other vegetables if using). Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump. (5.) Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk plus fish sauce and lime juice. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot. Test the soup for salt and spice and adjust to your taste. (6.) Serve in bowls with fresh cilantro and lime slices. For an extra hit of spicy add some Thai chili sauce. (7.) ENJOY!
I have to tell you that this soup isn't worth making without the kaffir lime leaves. These leaves are a little bigger than bay leaves and have such an unique smoky flavor. I am in search of other recipes that would use kaffir lime leaves. They are extremely hard to find unless you are "lucky" enough to live by Jungle Jims in which case you just walk in and get yourself a little pack. I did find out that you can order these leaves on Amazon. They would be well worth the hassle and you can freeze them for future use.
A wise man (my favorite Sushi Chef) recently told me that Tom Yum Soup is also thought to bring luck to one's life. I am adding to my New Year's Day menu along with my Peppered Black-eyed Pea Salad. Food traditions are so much fun and it is a way to get picky eaters to at least try one BITE!
I am wishing everybody the best 2010 EVER!
Now, on to my new obsession which is Bento Box Lunches. Who is in?
Stay tuned for a blog post brought to you by Red Gold Tomatoes.