Tom Yum, I love you :). Fragrant aromas of kaffir lime, galangal and lemongrass are in the air and soon I’m going to make one of my favourite soups – Tom Yum Goong Nam Khon! The creamy version of the spicy Thai Tom Yum soup. I’ve been craving it ever since I got back home to sunny Australia from Malaysia. And since I have three lemongrass plants, my lime tree is full of limes and my dear husband bought a kaffir lime tree for my birthday a few weeks ago ( I must say turning 34 wasn’t a near as much fun as turning 21 😉 ) it was a perfect time to make this yummy paste.
Recipe for the soup to follow in my next blog post.
I’m making this paste the old fashioned way – using mortar and pestle just because I think that the paste has a smoother texture opposed to one made in a food processor, but you can please yourself and make it the way that takes your fancy.
I will have to admit that using mortar and pestle wasn’t as easy as using a food processor, a fair bit of muscle power went in, but I love the results.
We had a cute and curious feathered visitor, who I suspect came to investigate a not so piquant smell of shrimp paste.
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2-3-inch long galangal or ginger root
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
3-10 dried red Thai chillies
2-3 stalks lemon grass white part only
2-3 garlic cloves
4 small shallot onions
Small bunch coriander ( cilantro ) leaves, stems and roots
4 tbsp sweet paprika powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp shrimp paste ( optional )
2 tbsp tamarind puree
2 tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1/3 cup lime juice
If using a mortar and pestle: grind coriander and peppercorns first, then start adding dry ingredients, except paprika powder, a small amount at a time. Once all dry ingredients are ground into a paste, add paprika powder and all liquid ingredients mixing them in.
If using a food processor: grind peppercorns and coriander seeds in a pestle. Process all ingredients in a food processor at once till forms a smooth paste.
Keep the paste refrigerated in a jar or an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Stir-fry till fragrant in a little bit of oil before using in cooking.