Thai food is indeed all about balance. The flavours – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, hot… all encompassed usually in one complete dish. It makes you sweat, it makes your tongue and your lips tingle, it makes you want to eat more. One of my favorite Thai dishes is Dtom Yum Gung – boiled mixture (approximate translation) or the hot and sour prawn soup.
It is very easy to make and I guess is one of the most popular Thai dishes. According to David Thompson, the famous Australian chef, expert in Thai cuisine, the best way to prepare it is to mix the soup with the lime juice and the coriander in the serving bowl, so the flavours are still vibrant and rich.
My recipe is a bit of a hybrid, it is mainly based on David Thompson’s recipe, however I like to add some chilli paste in oil (I loooooooooooooooooove spicy food) and to replace sometimes the mushrooms with tofu.
Hot and sour prawn soup
dtom yum gung
10-15 uncooked prawns
1 liter chicken or prawn stock
2 stalks of lemongrass pounded
50 grams galangal or ginger
4 kaffir lime leaves shredded
mushrooms or diced tofu
5 tablespoons of thai fish sauce
3-4 tablespoons of chilli paste in oil
4 tablespoons of lime juice
3-4 crushed fresh bird eye’s chilli
Garnish with fresh coriander, some red pepper and lime slices.
Wash and devein the prawns. Meanwhile bring the stock to a boil in a large pan. Add lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and bring everything to a boil. Add the mushrooms or the tofu, the fish sauce, the chilli paste. Add the prawns and the fresh chilli as well. When the prawns turn pink (after around 3 minutes) the soup is ready. Add lime juice and coriander.