There are staple pantry and refrigerator items that you should always have on hand in case the urge strikes to cook something nourishing and tasty, but you don’t have the time to put in the work. Tom Yum paste is perfect for adding into everything from meatballs and stews to amp up the flavour… and of course, you can use it for its original purpose; to create a hot and sour soup that’ll blow away the cobwebs in two seconds flat.
Tom Yum Soup
12 green prawns, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1 tbs tom yum paste
½ stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced
A small handful of coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
4 white button mushrooms, quartered
1L chicken or prawn stock
2 servings of dried rice vermicelli
1 red chilli, finely sliced
Sugar to season
Fish sauce to season
Vegetable oil to fry
Deep fried eschalots (in jars from Asian grocers or good supermarkets)
1. In a deep saucepan on a medium high heat, fry off the tom yum paste with a good slug of vegetable oil until fragrant.
2. Add in stock and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and add lemongrass, coriander stalks, mushrooms and half the sliced chilli. Allow to simmer and season with sugar and fish sauce to taste.
3. In a separate pot, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and refresh in cold water and set aside.
4. Drop the green prawns into the simmering stock for 5-6 minutes or until just cooked.
To assemble: Evenly divide the noodles into two bowls. Place 6 prawns on top of the noodles, and top the bowl with tom yum soup, making sure each bowl gets enough mushrooms and other bits. Garnish with the coriander leaves, sliced chilli and deep fried eschalots.