Monash Cook-Off #9: Tom Yum Goong

Written by: Cheah Wei Shang

Edited by: Chua Jia Ying

Starring: Wesley Chung Sheng Zhi

And that’s one recipe, see you next week! (Found a loophole)

Ready to salivate?

Wesley’s Tom yam Soup with bun (rice noodles)

Tom yam has its roots in Thailand, and there’s no exaggeration when saying that it’s one of the most iconic and even legendary flavours of Southeast Asia. Any Thai restaurant out there will most definitely have a tom yam or a form of it; its flavour associated with the word Thailand. Here in Malaysia, you can Thai restaurants on most corners, and even buy some instant noodles flavoured with it. 

Traditional Tom Yum Goong, originating from Thailand.

“Tom Yum” translates to boiled and mixed, indicative of how the soup was prepared. Traditional Tom Yum soup is spicy, sour with a distinct fragrance due to the abundant of spices and herbs used to season the broth. Amongst the seasonings used are lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed red chili peppers. Then, poultry and prawns are placed in the boiling broth. Today, there are many variations to the traditional Tom Yum, with one of the most popular being Tom Yum Nam Khon which means Milky Tom Yum. This version contains coconut or evaporated milk in its broth, giving it a more curry-like appearance. 

Tom Yum Nam Khon, a variation to the traditional recipe with addition of coconut milk in its broth.

Any inspiration behind this dish, Wesley?

Honestly, really being honest here, my close friend and I had a craving for Tom yam one night. So, this happened!

Hmm, alright. Nothing wrong with that. What’s in your dish though? It seems very… hearty!

Yeah, it has lots of stuff. Off the top of my head, shrimp, homemade meatballs, squid, enoki mushrooms, tomato and slices of beef in the middle.

Could you tell us how you made it?

Real easy. Just sautée onions, garlic and lemongrass in some oil. Then stir fry in some tomatoes and add the tom yam paste. It was some Vietnamese brand that I couldn’t remember, but any tom yam paste should do. Add the water to make the broth and then boil the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass stalks. Then just dump the rest in and let them cook. Honestly, it took more than two hours, but that was just because I had to roll the meatballs into, well, balls. Then pour the soup on top of the blanched bun.

I didn’t even think of making it for the cook-off! I just remembered that there was a competition, and arranged them as well as I could. Didn’t realize it would turn out this good! Also taking the picture took well over half an hour, heh.

Taste?

It tasted like your typical tom yam, but on the sweeter side. Not bad!

Great, thanks for doing this interview! What would you do with the prize money?

Mmm well I guess probably into getting a new knife ? Something a little bit better since one of my old ones broke. Prolly not something like a Wüsthof though @w@ das too pricey.

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