Tom yum pla soup with catfish

Tom yum pla soup with catfish

By
From
Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Stuart Scott

I’ve sampled many bowls of tom yum soup in Australia, but my Thai friends always said they weren’t very authentic. So when I met the most experienced fisherman in Chiang Khong, who says he makes the best tom yum soup, I had to cook with him and learn. Together we foraged through his neighbour’s gardens – everything was either plucked off a tree or dug out of the ground. And the fish – well I proudly caught that one myself! Mr Ta’s recipe calls for seven bird's eye chillies, but if you are not Thai, I strongly suggest cutting that amount by half.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 litres fish stock, (see note)
3 lemongrass stems, bruised, white part only
6 cm piece fresh galangal, finely sliced
7 bird’s eye chillies, bruised
5 red asian shallots, peeled and bruised
8 kaffir lime leaves, torn
100ml fish sauce
400g catfish or silver perch fillets, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 spring onions, cut into 4 cm lengths
6 saw-tooth coriander leaves, sliced
100ml lime juice
1 handful coriander, to garnish
steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Method

  1. Pour the stock into a stockpot or large saucepan. Add the lemongrass, galangal, chillies, shallots and kaffir lime leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fish sauce, fish and cherry tomatoes and bring back to the boil. Skim off any impurities.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked. Stir in the spring onion, saw-tooth coriander and lime juice. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Note

  • To make fish stock, place 1 kg fish trimmings in a large saucepan with 4 halved garlic cloves, a chopped 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, 1 bashed lemongrass stem, 2 kaffir lime leaves, 2 chopped spring onions and 2 litres water. Bring to the boil, skim off the impurities, then simmer for 30 minutes, skimming constantly. Pour the stock through a fine sieve and cool. Portion into smaller amounts and refrigerate or freeze until required.
Tags:
Greater
Mekong
Luke
Nguyen
Red
Lantern
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
SBS
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