Friday, August 3, 2012

Tom Yum Soup...sort of...

I wanted the taste of Thai the other day but was home with the boys and knew it would have to come form my own kitchen.  Problem is, I'm not very adept at making Thai style cuisine.  I looked up a Tom Yum soup recipe because I had coconut milk on hand.  Most of the recipes I found had uncommon ingredients I don't keep on hand.  I almost gave up...but then decided to just take the info from all the recipes I had just read through and see what I could make.  It would have to be better than cheese sandwiches for the second night in a row. ;)

So here is a very very stripped down version of Tom Yum.

I cut up some hot peppers (from my little city garden-yay!) and minced some fresh ginger and garlic.  I sautéed in toasted sesame oil (had just gotten this on a whim and had never used it-smelled really good when I was cooking with it, not sure I tasted it in the finished soup that much though-any oil would do).  The sauce pan I started with was way too small and I had to move everything to a stock pot. =/
The recipes I looked at had chicken or seafood or rice noodles added...I had none of those. hmmmm  I did have a single egg plant (also from the garden...the only one that has grown off my scrawny plant =)  So I cut it into really thin strips, tossed it with an egg and then tossed with panko bread crumbs.  Sautéed with the toasted sesame oil on high heat so it would get very brown and crispy.  I think the word "egg" in egg plant is a big tip off that it tastes like nothing until dipped in egg and then something else. ;) 
 I had some curry seasoning and added that to the pepper/garlic/ginger mix when it had softened.  It wakes the spices back up to "dry roast" them with no liquid like that.  I've done it for curry...makes the whole kitchen smell like an Indian restaurant...which is good-most days. =)  Once the spices smell good and have soaked up some of the excess oil to make a paste texture, add the liquids.  I used half the carton of vegetable broth and a whole can of light coconut milk.  I threw in dried cilantro because I didn't have fresh-boooooo-couldn't taste it at all.  Wish I had a cilantro plant out back. 
 I added the crispy egg plant and let simmer for a while with a lid on the pot so it wouldn't reduce to sauce texture.  Right before serving, I cut up a sad little lime that has been in the fridge for...however long it takes them to start turning brown but not rotten on the outside. =)  Added some juice and took my fist taste.  It needed SALT.  I added ground black pepper and salt...then some more salt.  I think the salt I had added before soaked into the egg plant.  I didn't salt the egg plant before cooking it which is a good idea-next time.  Once I got the salt level right, I loved the light flavor of the coconut milk and lime together.  I think I will smash the ginger better next time, there were a few bites I could taste it too strong.  Some people may really like that though.  
There you have it:  Tom Yum sort of. ;)


Ashton said...

Yum! Thai food is my favorite. And we have TJ's coconut milk and vegetable broth right now too, so I might have to do a little something with it for dinner tonight.:)

Natalie said...

So do your kids eat Tom Yum soup too? I love cooking stuff like this and think I would do more if my kids would eat it better... Looks yummy!

J and A said...

Yum! Tom Kha Gai is Joel's favorite, but he would've still been antsy to get over there for some of yours! It's all about just mixing all the different flavors. You could make a curry with your coconut milk too :)

emilykate said...

Nice improvising!

L, Ann and boys said...

I had made sandwiches for the boys already and didn't offer the soup Natalie. Not sure if they would have gone for it. =) I like things pretty spicy and they don't.