Tom Yam or Tom Yum is one of my favorite Thai dishes.  It is a hot and sour soup which can be made with chicken, fish, oxtail, or shrimps. For the chicken and oxtail Tom Yam, you need to make the soup stock by boiling the chicken with bones and simmer it for an hour or more until the meat is about to fall off its' bones.  If you have a whole chicken, you can use the 1/2 of the breast for the Tom Yam (keep the other half for another dish) and the rest can be used to make the stock.  

Tonight's dinner was made with shrimps.  For the aromatics, I used fresh Galangal, fresh Kaffir lime leaves, and fresh lemongrass.   For the seasoning, I used fish sauce.  I also added the juice of limes at the end when the soup was done.  For vegetables, I used sliced green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and oyster mushrooms. For garnishing, I  used fresh coriander or cilantro but you can also use green onion, or mint leaves if you like.   


2 stalks lemongrass - bruised and cut 2" diagonally
4 Kaffir lime leaves - bruised
6 thin slices Galangal
1 or 2 Bird's Eye Chilis - minced (use more or less according to your taste)
2 teaspoons Nam Prik Prao  (optional)
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 medium sized sliced green bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced into two Cherry tomatoes (or Roma)
12 large shrimps (save the heads and shells to boil with the aromatics in water) shelled and deveined
1 cup straw mushrooms, oyster, or button
juice of 2 limes


In a medium pot, boil 3 cups water with the shrimp heads and shell on high for about 10 minutes. Strain and discard shrimp heads and shells. 

Add the Galangal, lemongrass, Kaffir leaves.  Season with fish sauce and nam prik pao (optional) and boil for 5 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and cherry tomatoes, followed by the shrimps and oyster mushrooms. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes.

Turn heat off and add the juice of two limes.  Serve on a big soup bowl. Garnish with Cilantro, green onion, or mint leaves  on top.

*Serve with steamed jasmine rice.


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