I feel I have to warn you, this Thai Tom Yum Soup with Shrimps is totally ADDICTIVE! Tom Yum soup (or Tom Yam soup) is the ultimate thai street food. I think the reason that I love it so much is because there is a perfect balance of spiciness, saltiness, sourness and sweetness which is really characteristic of Thai food. After I first made it, we had it every week for a long time. This recipe is very versatile, you can replace the shrimps with chicken, have a vegetarian version, really the possibilities are endless. And talk about dinner in a flash, it can be made in 15 minutes, the broth takes 2 minutes to make and you can chop the rest of the ingredients while it simmers.
Cooking rice stick noodles is sometimes confusing because the instructions on the packages are not always very clear. Unlike pasta, rice noodles must be cooked off the stove. To use them in soups, just soak them with boiling water, covered, for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring them gently every 1 to 2 minutes to help loosen them. If your noodles are very thin, they will probably cook under 7 minutes, taste often to make sure they’re ready. Drain and then you’re ready to go.
Tom Yum paste is very easy to find in any Asian store, so are the kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir lime leaves are used a lot in Southeast Asian cuisine and are highly aromatic, just tear a leaf and smell the distinc aroma. You can recognize them by their beautiful green color and double leaf lobes, the leaves are thick and shiny on top. The leaves are too though to eat so usually they’re used whole in currys or soups. Their flavor is so distinctive that there is not really a substitute for it so if you can’t find them, don’t worry, I have made that soup often without it when I didn’t have time to go to the Asian store. While you’re at the store, buy their big soup bowls because regular soup bowls will be too small to accomodate all that delicious broth. I like to place in the middle of the table a plate with extra coriander, tomatoes and mushroom so my guests can add some during the meal. I promise, this Tom Yum noodle soup with shrimps is a real keeper!
- 2 L chicken broth
- 3 tbs Tom Yum paste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup of minced lemongrass
- 3 kaffir lime leaves (make a little tear in each leave)
- 3 tbs fish sauce
- 3 tbs lime juice
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 450 g (1 pack) of cooked Thai rice stick noodles (see note in introduction text above)
- 20 shrimps (more or less depending on how many per person)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- Coriander, chopped (about 2 cups)
- Enoki mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms, optional
- Add stock to a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.
- Add your Tom Yum paste, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce, lime juice and cocounut milk to your broth and simmer about 2 minutes.
- Add your shrimps and simmer an extra 3 minutes.
- Place a big handful of cooked noodles in 4 big asian soup bowls and garnish each with about 2 tbs of chooped tomatoes and 1 tbs of coriander, Add some mushroom to taste if desired.
- Laddle the broth over the noodles and garnishes.
If you love shrimps, also try these two recipes my Coquille St-Jacques or Shrimp Rolls!