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Authentic Thai food – Tom Yum Goong

Posted on September 6, 2010 by in soups

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Authentic Thai food places the emphasis on dishes that are quick to prepare but delivers on  bold aromatic tastes. Although Thai food is very spicy, there is always a perfect balanced between salty, sweet, bitter and sour. Detail and variety from 2 very important elements of a Authentic Thai meal. If all this is true, why do people find it so threatening and difficult.
When asked to do a cooking class for someone, Thai food is always first on the request list. The secret for me is in the shopping……….
My brother sent me a message on Face book on Saturday, saying: “I’m cooking Thai Curry tonight!” I start asking the questions. “Do you have fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and Coconut Milk?” The reply was short and sweet: “No!”  “So what do you have?”  The answer came very reluctantly: “Coconut milk and red curry paste!’   I felt so bad for bursting his bubble, shame man, he was so excited. Well, brother you can come for my next cooking Thai Cooking Class, for free, on the house, OK! You see once you have bought the essential Thai ingredients, making Thai food is a breeze. Let’s see what you need:


– Galangal – I use fresh ginger
– kaffir lime leaves – I use dried, we struggle to get fresh ones here
– lemon grass – fresh
– fish sauce – this provides the saltiness in your dish
– palm sugar – you can also use brown sugar
– curry paste – red of green
– Thai basil – plant your own or use sweet basil
– fresh limes
– rice noodles

This is just the basic ingredients for authentic Thai meal. Most of these items lasts for a long time, so it might cost you a few pennies at first, you only have to buy once in a while.

Here on My easy Cooking, I have made quite few Thai inspired meals.



All the above meals were delicious, but when I tasted Tom Yum Goong for the fist time, I knew it was love at first sight. The perfect balance of Thai food is so prominent in this soup. Fresh, fragrant and with every spoonful that I take, I feel so nourished and healthy.  The soup has such clean flavors and every ingredient has a definitely roll to play. I made this soup for the first time at Silwood Kitchen when I was invited to cook with Le Creuset and I have made a few pots of this soup ever since!! Give it a try….

Tom Yum Goong ( Spicy Thai Prawn Broth) – Recipe  Silwood Kitchen

12 x uncooked prawns (500g)
4 cups water
l½ tsp salt
1 Tbs fish sauce
4 birds eye chillies – adapt to your taste
8 cherry tomatoes
80g mushrooms  – I used oyster and shiitake mushrooms
2 spring onions
2 stalks lemon grass
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 Tbsp lime juice
½ tbs palm sugar
fresh coriander

Preheat grill and roast your tomatoes until they just pop and start to blister and char.

Peel and de-vein the prawns, reserve the shells. Rinse the shells and place in a pot with the water and the salt. Cook for 15 minutes.
Strain and discard the shells,  BUT reserve the ‘stock’.
Pour the stock back into the pot and boil. Season with fish sauce.
Bruise the chillies and lemongrass and add to the stock with all other ingredients such as mushrooms, lime leaves, spring onions and prawns. Simmer until the prawns turn opaque and then remove from heat. Add  the palm sugar and lime juice. Taste and adjust by adding either more fish sauce or lime juice. The balance must be there. Garnish with fresh coriander and a drizzle of chili oil. Superb!!

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17 Responses to “Authentic Thai food – Tom Yum Goong”

  1. Marisa 6 September 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    That soup looks so fresh & inviting! The prawns look super succulent I must add.

  2. Arnold 6 September 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    This is a bit too adventurous for me but it looks delicious. Maybe I should stop being scared of attempting the fancy dishes and just give it a try. As always your photos are great.

  3. Juno 6 September 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Honestly, Nina, your photographs blow me away. I can't understand why you are not doing this professionally.

  4. Nina Timm 6 September 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Marisa – Oh yes, they were!

    arnold – Arnold you will love it, Promise!!

    Juno – Thx. you will not believe,someone told me they are not good enough!!

  5. Ally_R 6 September 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Nina, that looks fan-bloody-tastic! Perfect for Spring!

  6. browniegirl 6 September 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Nins tell me the name of the person and I will pay to get their eyes tested. Your photographs are absolutely bloody brilliant girl. I adore this type of soup. I made the chicken one for your Thai event (think it was called Tom Ka Gai) and I so enjoyed it. It was my first attempt at it. This one looks like it is inviting me to try it as well..Hugs, was very special meeting your two beautiful children today friend xx

  7. bellini valli 6 September 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    I love to visit here Nina, you are always cooking outside the box and have such gorgeous pics to tease us, or to will us to try making these dishes ourselves.

  8. RecipeGirl 7 September 2010 at 3:54 am #

    I absolutely love your new site design- everything is so fresh and pretty! Your Thai recipe looks like I could just eat it right off the screen. Delicious!

  9. coco cooks 7 September 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Gorgeous soup. Just stocked up my pantry with some essentials like fish sauce.

  10. Junglefrog 7 September 2010 at 7:43 am #

    I love Thai food!! I just made a delicious Thai dish myself!! And you're right that the ingredients needed in Thai cooking last quite a long time. Kaffir lime is however an ingredient that I still have to find here..

  11. Packaging SHOP-CPT. 7 September 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    This is one of the most beautiful food photo's I have seen-you are my hero!!-dt

  12. Nina Timm 7 September 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Ally – Indeed, hx for popping in!

    browniegirl – I know you woill sweet Colly.

    val – you can always make a gand tour of SA and I will gladly cook this for you!

    recipe girl – Thank you, coming from one of my foodie heroes, the compliment means a lot!

    coco cooks – Nothing stopping you then.Let me know what you think!

    Junglefrog – true. Can't you find them dry?

    DT – and you are my hero, period!

  13. Jan 7 September 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Oooh this does look GOOD – but then so does everything you make Nina!

  14. Juliana 7 September 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Nina, I love Thai food, specially when it is spicy and sour…the soup is mouthwatering…yummie!

  15. Sam 8 September 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    I love Tom Yum and cannot wait to try this recipe (plus your thai crab cakes) and I think this photo is particularly exceptional. The colour jumps right out. S x

  16. Pam 10 September 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Mmmm. It looks so good Nina. I love your bowl and spoon set.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Coconut Broth with Cold Smoked Trout - My Easy Cooking - June 18, 2018

    […] Coconut broth, like most Thai inspired recipes, is simple, quick to make, yet oh so rewarding. I love Thai food and so does my family. When people talk about Chicken Soup as being the quick cure for a cold or flu, I say NOT. Have you ever tried a bowl of steaming hot and spicy  Tom Yum Goong? […]

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