Quick and easy Thai hot and sour shrimp soup (tom yom koong) recipe
The world divides in many ways. Chocolate or vanilla? Chili with beans, or chili with no beans? When you dine at a Thai restaurant, do you order chicken coconut soup (tom ka gai) or hot and sour shrimp soup (tom yom koong)? I'm a tom yom girl. Here's a super quick and easy version of my favorite Thai soup, the version I toss together when the craving strikes, as it often does. Authentic spices and condiments make all the difference, especially when you're adapting a more complex soup for quick-and-easy cooking, so it's worth a visit to an Asian market to stock your pantry with sambal oelek and fish sauce (I always recommend the Three Crabs brand). And if you have even the hint of a cold, make a batch of this soup right away. It has defeated every sniffle I've ever had.
Quick and easy Thai hot and sour shrimp soup (tom yom koong)
Serves 4 as a starter; can be doubled.
2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock, or mushroom stock
1/2 lb medium shrimp (31-40 size, or whatever you have), raw with the shells on
1/2 tsp sambal oelek, or to taste
6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp lime zest plus the juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp fish sauce
A few cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
In a sauce pan, simmer the stock and shrimp for 10 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside to cool slightly. Add the sambal oelek, mushrooms, a tiny bit of the lime zest, half of the lime juice, and the fish sauce to the pot, and continue to simmer. Peel the shrimp and return them to the pot. After 30 seconds, remove the pot from the heat.
Taste, and adjust seasoning to your taste with more lime juice or sambal. Ladle into individual bowls, and top with the remaining lime zest and (optional) cilantro leaves.