A classic south-east Asian soup which, served with a bowl of red or black rice, makes a meal. Whenever you’re buying prawns, look out for tiger, green or white prawns, ideally wild. If you buy farmed, make sure they’re raised in the sea. Avoid river prawns, which are bad for the environment, don’t taste of anything much at all and can contain chemical and hormone residues.
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 thumb-length piece of fresh galangal root
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 1 green Thai chilli, finely sliced
- 150g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon tom yum goong paste (Thai chilli paste with dried shrimps)
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
- 180g raw prawns
- 6 spring onions, finely sliced
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 6 kaffir lime leaves (fresh, frozen, or dried)
- 30g coriander leaves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 200g red or black rice, cooked (optional)
- Lime segments
Heat the vegetable stock to a gentle simmer.
Chop the galangal finely. Prepare the lemongrass, by peeling away the outer, tougher layer, retaining only the tender central part of the stalk. Chop this very finely.
Add these and the chilli to the broth. Then add the mushrooms, tom yum paste, fish sauce and prawns. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are cooked.
Add the spring onions and cherry tomatoes and take off the heat. Allow to cool for a minute and then add the kaffir lime leaves (if fresh, these need to be added at the end or they turn bitter).
Sprinkle with the coriander and lime juice, and serve straightaway with some lime segments, a bowl of red or black rice (if using) to add in, little by little as you eat.