My wife was telling me that man can’t live on beer and oysters alone. She reckons I need more variety in my diet. Seeing how she takes such good care of me, I thought it would be a good idea to appease her. After a period of deep reflection on the matter of beer food and dietary concerns, I reckon some kind of tom yum would be an ideal food for the chilly season.
The Ko0L thing about tom yum is that it is served all over Southeast Asia, even though it originated in Thailand. Tom yum is usually made with prawns (tom yum goong), chicken (tom yum gai), fish (tom yum pla), or mixed seafood (tom yum talay). You can put just about any seafood you like into Tom Yum Talay. Common items include Prawns, Squid, Fish, Shell-Fish (especially mussels) and crab. However, oysters don’t work so good!
Without father ado, this is how the master chief
GOODSTUFF cooks Tom Yum Goong
SEVERAL BOTTLES OF BEER
Four big handfuls of saltwater shrimps
(With heads attached and has a
red/orange fat visible inside the head)
A small handful of dried shrimps
Big handful of lemongrass
A few thick slices of Galangal (ginger)
The juice of a sack full of limes
Some brown mushrooms
Just enough Fish sauce
A good measure of Nam-prik Pao
Too many Thai chillies
A handful of baby tomatoes
A handful of mud onions
Cilantro plants with roots
Half a handful of garlic
One big handful of kaffir lime leaves
Unfortunately, for the true taste, it is difficult to substitute anything for the kaffir lime leaves.
First you do the stock thing:
Throw the dried shrimp, some of the kaffer leaves and some of the lemon grass in to a pot with water. Boil for about half a beer. Then simmer till the beer is finished. My personal touch is to add some bay leaves and too much black pepper.
Then cook the basic soup:
Add some more water to your stock. Toss in the rest of the kaffir leaves, the remaining lemongrass, most of the lime juice, the Galangal, mushrooms, chillies, tomatoes, onions, chopped garlic and the abused cilantro plants.
After all the effort units, you deserve a break. Kick back and do another beer. However, there is still some cooking to be done. Take a couple of shallows of beer the stir the brew. Repeat this step until three quarters of a bottle of beer has been consumed.
Completing the tom yum goong experience
Add the shrimps and finish the beer. After you have opened another beer, add the fish sauce, nam-prik pao and the remaining lime juice. Turn off the gas and finish the beer. To maintain my sexy figure I like to add a bit of fresh young coconut meat to the tom yum concoction.
If you can’t decide if it’s too sour, salty, hot or sweet you have done a good job of cooking tom yum goong.Then you are ready to declare “YUM-YUM SO GOOD AND SO GOOD FOR YOU!”