Tom yum is a deliciously intense hot and sour soup originating in Thailand. The combination of spices not only tastes great, but also has many health benefits, effectively clearing the sinuses and warding off head colds. These ingredients should be available in larger supermarkets or Chinese supermarkets, but if not tom yum paste is also widely available and can be used as the base of the soup. Serves 6 as a small starter, or 3 as a more filling meal.
- 1 litre stock
- 6 small sticks of lemongrass
- 12 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 long red chilli, sliced
- 20g fresh root ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp nam pla (thai fish sauce)
- 20g light demerara sugar
- 200g white fish, such as cod, skin and bone removed
- 6 scallops, cleaned and corals removed
- 50mls vegetable oil
- Handful of fresh coriander
- Handful of fresh basil
- Juice of 3 limes
Put the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, chilli, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and sugar into a pan with the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to infuse for 15 mins.
Cut the fish into small cubes and add to the broth. Simmer for another 5 mins until the fish is cooked through.
Rub the scallops in oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in as hot a pan as possible for around a minute until golden brown, then turn and do the same for the other side.
Split the basil and coriander among the bowls and squeeze a generous quantity of lime juice onto each. Ladle the soup in and place the scallops on top.