As winter creeps in soup bowls add the silent-warm-glass ting sound to a dinner spread. With soups coming up, the first one that I would put in line is the sour-spicy Tom Yum Soup. This Thai delicacy is a winner at home, and most frequently ordered by us at restaurants. Simple and healthy with the right tartness from the lemon and Fish sauce along with a punch of spice. Effortless soup once you have acquired the basic ingredients, Lemon grass, Galangal and Kaffir lime leaves, which is easily available in Asian supermarkets. I got this "Thai Tom Yum Kit" from an Asian Hypermarket nearby.
The kit consisted of Lemongrass, galangal and Kaffir lime leaves.
Lemongrass is a Asian herb, with a citrus-lemony flavor and is widely used in soups, curries, Tea etc. I was surprised to learn of its medicinal benefits. From having excellent, anti-fungal properties, to soothing coughs and nasal congestion, its one addition to my home remedy list. Because of its medicinal properties it is extensively used in Ayurvedic Medicine. Having said that, Lemon grass is here to stay this winter, to combat those colds and coughs, be it Tom Yam soup form or Lemon grass tea.
Galangal is a look alike of ginger, and why not? it belongs to the same family as ginger( Zingiberaceae). Its name Galangal is derived from the chinese word for Ginger. I found this piece of information from "Times of India" article on benefits of Galangal. Have a look.
"This tuber is known to have numerous medicinal and health benefits. And sit is used by many homeopaths and healthcare professionals. Here are some of their heath benefits.- Galangal contains anti-inflammatory properties and therefore is beneficial in treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- It also helps to relieve discomfort caused due to inflammation of the abdomen and ulcers too.
- To curb sea and motion sickness, nausea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal.
- Galangal contains a host of anti-oxidants that helps to minimise the damage caused by free radicals and other toxins in the body.
- To improve blood circulation in the body, include galangal in your diet.
- If you suffer form diarrhoea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal to seek relief.
- Besides being a rich source of iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, it contains flavanoids and phytonutrients." - Times of India
Kaffir Lime Leaves- belong to a citrus fruit, Kaffir lime or Makrut lime, native to tropical Asia, including, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines. Its crushed leaves and rind emit a strong citrus fragrance. Here are some Health Benefits of Galangal.
-Oral Health: The most widespread use of kaffir lime is in the protection of oral health. However, it is not the fruit itself that should be eaten for this, but rather the rind and the leaves. The leaves can be directly rubbed onto the gums to promote good oral health and eliminate harmful bacteria that can build up in the mouth. The oil extracted from kaffir limes can also be mixed in with organic toothpastes and mouthwashes to promote more potent oral and gum care.
-Detoxify the Blood: The oil of kaffir limes is often mixed in various decoctions for those suffering from blood-borne illnesses or chronic blood-related diseases.
-Digestive Issues: If you are suffering from constipation or indigestion, some kaffir lime decoction can clear your symptoms up and get your bowels back on a regular track. This can help prevent more serious gastrointestinal issues in the future, such as colorectal cancer, hemorrhoids, or gastric ulcers.
-Insect Repellant: In the countries where kaffir lime was traditionally grown, insect-borne diseases can kill thousands of people each year. For that reason, kaffir limes are often used for their insect repellant properties.
-Lower Inflammation: For those suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, edema, gout, or some other inflammatory condition, kaffir limes can be a very effective remedy. You can use the juice, leaves, or oil extracts topically on the area where you are experiencing discomfort or pain, and you can also consume the fruit and the juices to enjoy a similar effect. This anti-inflammatory effect also makes kaffir lime juice beneficial for headaches and migraines.
That is just the gist of it, for complete article visit https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/kaffir-lime.html
With all those ingredients loaded with medicinal properties, now lets go ahead with the making of this famous Thai soup. Boil it all up. Not much is it?
- Lemongrass- 3-4 stalks
- Galangal- 1 inch chunk
- Kaffir Lime leaves- 10
- Water- 2 liters
- Thai Red chillies- 2-3 (add more for more spice or slit and remove seeds before adding for less spice)
- Garlic- 5 cloves
- Shrimp-1/2 kg
- Mushroom-300 grms
- Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes- 2(can substitute with one small sized tomato)
- Spring onion whites- 2-3 stalks
- Sugar- 2 tsp
- Fish sauce- 8-12 tbsp (depending on your taste start with 6 then add as per taste) (can be substituted with 8 tbsp soya sauce if you want to avoid the fish flavor)
- Lime juice- 8-12 tbsp
- Coriander leaves- handful.
- 1Get all the ingredients prepped up.
a.Get lime juice extracted.
b. Take the lemon grass stalks, tear off the outer layer and throw. Pound it once gently with a mallet, to activate and enable release of flavor. Now slice it diagonally into one inch slices.
c. Take the Galangal chunk and chop it to thin slices.
d. Roughly tear the Kaffir leaves by hand, to enable release of flovor.(do not chop)
e. Make thin slices of garlic
f. Slice the Thai bird chillies into two. Add more chillies if you desire more spice or just slice and carefully remove the seeds after slicing with help of knife.(avoid picking the seeds with hands, they are quite hot) (If not available you can substitute it with green chilly)
g. Slice mushrooms to thin slices.
h. Slice the tomatoes and onion whites to wedges.
- 2Keep the water to boil in a vessel. Devein the shrimps, wash with turmeric and keep aside.
- 3As the water comes to a boil, toss in the lemongrass, galangal , Kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies. Cover and allow to boil for 10 mins.
- 4Now add the Mushroom, tomato and onion wedges. Boil for 2-3 mins.
- 5Now add Shrimps followed by fish sauce(or soy sauce). Start with 6 tbsp, you can add more as per taste later. Add 2 tsp sugar, add more if needed later. Boil for another min or two and turn off heat. Don't over boil, as the shrimps may get stiff.
- 6Once off heat add 8 tbsp of lime juice. Taste and adjust the soup to make it perfectly sour and salty by adding more fish sauce, lime juice or sugar accordingly.
- 7Toss in the chopped coriander(cilantro leaves) just before serving. Serve hot. Your clear Thai Tom Yum soup is ready!