Friday, July 22, 2011

Tom Yum Goong

There is a restaurant in Dallas, TX called Royal Thai. I wish I could transplant this restaurant to NC because they have the best Tom Yum Goong that I've ever tasted. This is a spicy, sour soup that can have chicken, shrimp, and often mushrooms. My favorite way to eat this soup is to turn it into a noodle soup by ordering steamed rice noodles on the side.

We recently made a shrimp dish, which left us a generous portion of shrimp heads and tails. The Husband suggested making a shrimp broth, which I learned just means boiling something (i.e., meat, vegetable) in water whereas a stock is where you may add onions, garlic, bay leaves, and other herbs.

So, I let the shrimp parts boil for approximately 45 minutes in water and then strained the broth to make my Tom Yum Goong. I had to improvise this recipe a bit because I didn't have the exact amount of shrimp and I cannot find kaffir lime leaves here. I also bought an additional pound of shrimp aside from the leftover heads that I used to make the shrimp broth.

Tom Yum Goong
500 g (1 lb) medium-sized raw prawns
1 tbsp oil
2 quarts of water * I substituted this with the shrimp broth
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chopped red chilies, optional
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded ** or a lot more lime juice if you can't find it
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice **
2 tsp soft brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves * couldn't find this either so skipped
Rice noodles, optional to make noodle soup
Your choice of mushrooms

1. Remove shrimp shell and heads. Devein shrimp and set aside.

2. Heat oil in wok or pan. Add the shrimp shells and heads and cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until shells and heads are a deep orange. Then turn heat to high.

3. Gradually add 1 cup of shrimp broth/water and the curry paste to the wok. Boil for 5 minutes, until reduced slightly. Add the remaining water and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the soup. Discard shrimp heads and shells. Return the soup to the wok. 

4. Add the tamarind concentrate, turmeric, chilies, and lime leaves and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Add the peeled, deveined shrimp and cook until they are pink, but not overdone.

5. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Add cooked rice noodles if desired. Sprinkle with coriander  (or cilantro) leaves just before serving. 

I've tried making this soup once before based on a Tyler Florence recipe, which used galanga and lemongrass. However, that recipe was not nearly as flavorful as this one. I think this is related to the red curry paste and some of the other seasonings. This is probably as close as I'll ever get to Royal Thai, but at least I can have a quick fix before our next trip back to DFW!

Have a restful weekend and some good eats!


  1. Love it Jenny. The presentation is so purdy~~~ yuri

  2. Thanks Yuri!! Looks like the macaron business is treating you well! They look delicious!