After my last post about the unfortunate Thai restaurant experience (and still craving Tom Yum Soup), I was determined to make my own version in-house that still had the punch of flavour without the fish sauce. Soybean paste, as it turns out, acts as a wonderful substitute for the fish sauce, adding just the right amount of saltiness and pungency. A while back I made a Green Thai Curry with a vegan paste and found that it really lacked the depth of flavour you find with the fish sauce added varieties, and the addition of the soybean paste really made a huge difference to the flavour. Less is more though, just 1/2 to 1 teaspoon is often all that is needed to balance things out.
This recipe came from what is turning out to be a great little book filled with little gems “Veggie Food“. I have made a few tweaks, with the addition of the soybean paste being one, but the basic recipe was pretty good to start with.
750 ml vegetable or vegan chicken style stock (such as Massel)
2 tablespoons vegan Tom Yum paste
1 teaspoon soybean paste
2cm x 2cm piece of galangal (or fresh ginger) peeled and cut into thin strips
1 stem lemon grass, crushed lightly and cut into four lengths
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves ( I used curry leaves instead)
1 small red chill, finely sliced on the diagonal
200g button mushrooms, halved
200g silken firm tofu, cut into 1.5cm cubes
200g pak choi roughly shredded
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons coriander (cilantro)
Place stock, Tom Yum Paste, soybean paste, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, chill and an extra 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and tofu and simmer for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add the pak choi and simmer for another minute or until wilted. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice and coriander leaves before serving. This will provide 4-6 servings.
Simple and relatively quick to prepare, yet very satisfying. Enjoy!