Thai Fish Soup (Tom Yum Gai)

My hilarious attempts to speak Thai should not be left in Thailand, so I present to you: tom yum gai nam kohn – what I believe could mean fish soup with coconut milk. I can’t find exactly what ‘tom yum’ means, it could describe the sauce or could be the word for soup, but it is a very popular dish in Thailand. Tom yum goong (tom yum with prawns) was one of my favourite meals during out trip and so when I saw tom yum paste in Wing Yip, our local Asian supermarket, I had to get some.

I know mixing a sauce in with some vegetables and protein isn’t much of an achievement, but I was pleasantly surprised by how this came together. Guided by the servings per jar, I used a tablespoon and a half of tom yum sauce (which made the soup -ahem- very very very spicy), fried it with onions and green peppers, then I added reconstituted creamed coconut, juice of half a lemon (lime is the best, but we didn’t have any), some carrot, some cabbage and at the last minute some cubed fish. I used monkfish because we happened to have some in the freezer from the last time I fell foul of the fishmonger, and its firm and meaty texture really stood up to the spices.

I added some rice noodles, which sucked up some of the soup but it was worth it! Next time I will use less tom yum sauce (oh the joys of a new ingredient!) but overall I was very pleased, and it proved to be a less fearsome version of a hot and sour prawn soups I’ve made in the past.

2 responses to “Thai Fish Soup (Tom Yum Gai)

  1. Astra Libris July 8, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I am in awe! I’ve always wanted to try a thai fish soup, but was always uncertain of how to keep the fish from getting too soggy… You have inspired and thoroughly impressed me!

  2. Segat1 July 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    ต้มยำ – dtôm yam = tom yum which according to super thai translator means hot and sour. Wahey! It’s one of my favourites. I used to eat a lot of laksas when I was at uni as there were so many excellent Asian food shops around. I miss the spicy creamy slurping!04 July 2008 11:49

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