Authentic Thai food – Tom Yum Goong

Authentic Thai food places the emphasis on dishes that are quick to prepare but delivers on  bold aromatic tastes. Although Thai food is very spicy, there is always a perfect balanced between salty, sweet, bitter and sour. Detail and variety from 2 very important elements of a Authentic Thai meal. If all this is true, why do people find it so threatening and difficult.
When asked to do a cooking class for someone, Thai food is always first on the request list. The secret for me is in the shopping……….
My brother sent me a message on Face book on Saturday, saying: “I’m cooking Thai Curry tonight!” I start asking the questions. “Do you have fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and Coconut Milk?” The reply was short and sweet: “No!”  “So what do you have?”  The answer came very reluctantly: “Coconut milk and red curry paste!’   I felt so bad for bursting his bubble, shame man, he was so excited. Well, brother you can come for my next cooking Thai Cooking Class, for free, on the house, OK! You see once you have bought the essential Thai ingredients, making Thai food is a breeze. Let’s see what you need:

– Galangal – I use fresh ginger
– kaffir lime leaves – I use dried, we struggle to get fresh ones here
– lemon grass – fresh
– fish sauce – this provides the saltiness in your dish
– palm sugar – you can also use brown sugar
– curry paste – red of green
– Thai basil – plant your own or use sweet basil
– fresh limes
– rice noodles

This is just the basic ingredients for authentic Thai meal. Most of these items lasts for a long time, so it might cost you a few pennies at first, you only have to buy once in a while.

Here on My easy Cooking, I have made quite few Thai inspired meals. 

All the above meals were delicious, but when I tasted Tom Yum Goong for the fist time, I knew it was love at first sight. The perfect balance of Thai food is so prominent in this soup. Fresh, fragrant and with every spoonful that I take, I feel so nourished and healthy.  The soup has such clean flavors and every ingredient has a definitely roll to play. I made this soup for the first time at Silwood Kitchen when I was invited to cook with Le Creuset and I have made a few pots of this soup ever since!! Give it a try….

Tom Yum Goong ( Spicy Thai Prawn Broth) – Recipe  Silwood Kitchen

12 x uncooked prawns (500g)
4 cups water
l½ tsp salt
1 Tbs fish sauce
4 birds eye chillies – adapt to your taste
8 cherry tomatoes
80g mushrooms  – I used oyster and shiitake mushrooms
2 spring onions
2 stalks lemon grass
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 Tbsp lime juice
½ tbs palm sugar
fresh coriander

Preheat grill and roast your tomatoes until they just pop and start to blister and char.

Peel and de-vein the prawns, reserve the shells. Rinse the shells and place in a pot with the water and the salt. Cook for 15 minutes.
Strain and discard the shells,  BUT reserve the ‘stock’.
Pour the stock back into the pot and boil. Season with fish sauce.
Bruise the chillies and lemongrass and add to the stock with all other ingredients such as mushrooms, lime leaves, spring onions and prawns. Simmer until the prawns turn opaque and then remove from heat. Add  the palm sugar and lime juice. Taste and adjust by adding either more fish sauce or lime juice. The balance must be there. Garnish with fresh coriander and a drizzle of chili oil. Superb!!

I am at your mercy once again. I made it to the SA Blog Awards nomination list with the help of all you guys. Now the voting poles are open and if you can vote for me I will be so grateful.

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