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Tom Yum Help

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So I get this vegetarian Tom Yum soup at my local Thai Rest. that is Out of this world!!! It tastes excellent, and I just can't duplicate it at home. I got the ghalangal (sp?), lime leaves, and lemongrass, but how to I give it that "sweetness?" It isn't a sugar sweet, it's different.. like a carrot is sweet. Maybe they just put sugar in it, I don't know. Also, does anyone have any other flavoring and technique ideas that don't include shrimp, fish sauce, or chicken stock? Thanks.
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post #2 of 17
Saute onions. Lots.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Really? Should I make a stock out of them and strain it? Or put them in the soup?
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #4 of 17
No no, you saute them until nice and translucent, even brownish, then add your curry paste, saute some more, add your veggies, saute, add your vegetable stock, then galangal, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, simmer, turn down the heat, add your coconut milk, add your soy sauce to taste, finish with squeeze of fresh lime. Too bad you can't use fish sauce. ;)

Am I missing any ingredient?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
It's not too bad.


Thanks, kuan.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #6 of 17
Traditionally tom yum isn't a sweet thing. However if that's what your looking for try some palm sugar. That's the type of sugar commonly used in Thai food. Also your chili paste is key. Try chucking in some yellow egg noodles or glass noodles for a bit more substantial soup.
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Every cook needs some Tasty Nosh.
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
What kind of chili paste should I get?

The soup wasn't THAT sweet, it just had a sweetness to it. It was very sour too. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. So flavorful.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #8 of 17
Use Thai red curry paste. Comes in a plastic jar with a nice tight lid. Keeps forever. You only use a little bit at a time. Start with one teaspoon.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Like the one from thai kitchen? I have a green and a red. Thanks!
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #10 of 17
When I lived in Thailand we would make this soup and depending on the protein, it change the soup entirely. Also, the trick behind any asian soup is the broth. Understand that they simmer these broths for a lot longer than we do, sometimes an entire day and they use the same pots, rarely washing them. My recipe goes like this;
2 cups of chicken broth
2 stalks of lemongrass, smashed and trimmed, chopped up into large dice size
Big splash of fish sauce, Thai fish sauce is sweeter
3 fresh lime leaves
3 bird chilies, cut in 1/2, and deseeded, but not all the seeds
1 peeled, deseeded tomato, chopped fine
1/2 cup oyster mushroom, chopped coarsley
2 Tablespoons Fresh lime juice

I used shrimp, but you can use chicken or pork. When using shrimp it is called Tom yum gung.
Simmer these ingrediants but not for more than 45 min. The lemongrass will turns slightly bitter. Maybe it was the Tomatoes that you were missing. People think they don't have them there but they do... anyways, good luck and happy cooking
Whenever we cook we become practical chemists, drawing on the accumulated knowledge of generations, and transforming what the Earth offers us into more concentrated forms of pleasure and nourishment.
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Whenever we cook we become practical chemists, drawing on the accumulated knowledge of generations, and transforming what the Earth offers us into more concentrated forms of pleasure and nourishment.
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post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have had the vegan version of this soup, and I was wondering if there were any tricks to it besides using meat stock or fish sauce.


Thanks 100folds!
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #12 of 17

Vegan soups

The trick to making very flavorful stocks is to cook them long enough - even the classic mirepois (onion, carrot and celery) improves with cooking.

Try this stock: red onions, garlic, fresh ginger, parsley (or basil or cilantro, your choice), black pepper corns and a small bay leaf, filtered water, sesame oil, and lemon grass to finish. Make the proportions to your own liking; I use 5 or 6 large onions, a whole head of garlic, about 3 inches of ginger; two bunches of cilantro, and two stems of lemongrass to 4 quarts of water.

Heat the oil in your heaviest pan (I use my stainless steel stock pot), and saute the onions until they are deeply caramelized; put the garlic and ginger in the pot about half-way to molasses-dark onions. When the onions are ready, put the water, bay leaf and pepper corns in, bring it to a bare simmer, turn the heat down as low as it will go, and simmer as long as overnight. Put the crushed lemongrass and parsley in for the last hour or so of simmering. Strain the stock, cool, and store. You can put it in ice cube trays, freeze, then put in a zip-top freezer bag for later use.

Experiment with cooking time if you like - just make sure you get the onions brown enough - low and slow!

This also makes an excellent base for onion soup, it's especially good with rice noodles and a few fresh herbs to make a light soup.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Sweet!! Thanks!
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #14 of 17
My stock is similiar to Kate's

I use pickled ginger instead of ginger root, use both red and yellow curry (although there would be a lot of people that would kill me for this) and I make large portions of seitan and include them in the stock process and scoop them out before I strain my stock, then re-add them when I am actually making the soup....freaking unbeleivable...

Chef Mike
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Trying to make a difference one palate at a time...

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post #15 of 17
The key is your "Tom Yum" paste. Google it. It's completely different to red curry paste. If you cant find it try this. Get a a cup of vegetable oil hot for deep frying, throw in 1 cup of chopped dry chilis (use any variety you prefer, each variety will have a different effect) throw in some chopped shallots, chopped garlic and sugar. Generally I'll throw the chilis in last so they dont burn. You'll have to play around with it to find out what kind of balance you like. Once it's chilled throw it in the blender. Now to make the soup, get a pot of chicken broth simmering, chuck in a big scoop of your chili paste. Throw in your kha ginger, kaffir lime leaves lemongrass. simmer for a minute, put in the straw mushrooms and some sort of meat or not. Grill the meat first for a nice grilled flavour. But get your paste down, once you've got that you can't go wrong.
Every cook needs some Tasty Nosh.
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Every cook needs some Tasty Nosh.
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post #16 of 17

Sweet Tom Yum

Generally in Thailand they don't add anything sweet to Tom Yum
I notice that a lot of Thai restaurants in the US add sugar to a lot of their dishes. I think they think that western people like sweet Chinese dishes like sweet and sour port so they add sugar to appeal to their tastes.

They do add "nam prik pow" or chili paste in soya bean oil to Tom Yum but that isn't sweet

That being said, Thai food, like the Buddhist religion is a "live and let live" cuisine. There has never been a true Thai dish that hasn't undergone some change or influence. Even the spicy taste that Thai food is so often associated with was adopted from the Europeans. And the Chinese have had a major influence on Thai cooking. Whatever tastes good is the Thai motto.
post #17 of 17
Here's our video on how to make Tom Yum soup
http://www.thaifoodtonight.com/thaif...pes-TomYum.htm
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