probably the best known of all Thai dishes in the western world. I
suspect that it's reputation stems from it's ability to make any
unsuspecting newcomer's hair stand on end. The version I present here is
no different. If you prefer your hair to remain neatly groomed, reduce
the quantity of Chilies, especially the small ones (Prik Kee Noo).
put just about any seafood you like into Tom Yum Talay. Common items
include Prawns, Squid, Fish, Shell-Fish (especially mussels) and crab.
use just the prawns and the squid. I
always buy the biggest prawns I can find, so long as the price is not
outrageous. Luckily in Thailand prawns
tend to be larger and cheaper, than those I've seen in most western
supermarkets. If I manage to find very large prawns I buy enough to make
sure each diner gets two each. If the prawns are smaller I make sure
each person gets more.
prepare the prawns, use a very sharp knife to make a deep slit along the
length of the middle of back, running from just below the head to the
tail. Remove the digestive tract, which looks like a large dark vein and
wash clean under a running tap.
are using fish, remove all un-edible pieces, especially the bones.
Shell-fish should be clean and free of grit. When included soft shell
crabs are normally used. If these are not available, then thoroughly
crack the shells of the legs and pincers before cooking. Only the white
meat parts of the crab are used.
use the squid which is white, with maybe some purple flecks on the
tentacles. I do not like the yellow or brown colored squid, which
some people have told me may be cuttle-fish. I chop the body of the
squid into white squares about one inch by one inch and score them
diagonally, in both directions, with a small sharp knife, creating a
kind of diamond pattern on their surface.
Ingredients to serve 4 people
carcass, half a kilo of squid, half a kilo of prawns, 100gm straw
mushrooms, 2 medium sized tomatoes, 5 shallots, 1 spring onion, 3
coriander roots, 2 stalks of lemon grass, 10
bai makrud, 1 root of
(about 150gm), 40gm
prik kee noo, 20ml
nam prik pau,
50ml nam pla, 75ml fresh lime juice, 2 large red chilis,
25ml Carnation evaporated milk, 4ml sugar, a handful of coriander leaves
The first task is to start the stock.
Make it by
boiling a chicken carcass with a large pinch of salt, in a liter of
water for 20 minutes.
While this stock is boiling,
clean, peel and chop the other ingredients. Discard the outer layer of
the shallots and the sheaf of the lemon grass.
mushrooms are normally halved and the tomatoes and shallots cut into
quarters. The single spring onion is chopped up into very small pieces.
the stalks and seeds from the red chilis and cut them lengthways into
the chicken carcass and any bits of bone or gristle which may have
kha, lemongrass, half of the bai makrud, shallots and coriander root
into the stock and boil for two minutes.
prawns, squid, mushrooms, tomatoes and red chilis and boil vigorously
for a further five minutes.
from heat and stir in the nam prik pau, nam pla, prik kee noo,
lime juice, sugar, evaporated milk, spring onion and remainder of the
can be served in an ordinary soup bowl, but it is more fun to use a mor,
which has a paraffin wax candle to keep the soup warm, while the diners help
you can optionally garnish it with coriander leaves.
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WEIGHTS & MEASURES
2 Pints = 1 liter
1 Floz = 30 ml
2 Lbs = 1 kg
1 Oz = 30 gm
1 Inch = 2.5 cm
These are very approximate,
don't use them for your children's home work, but they are good enough for