Souperinspiration | Tom yum crab bitsque

Souperinspiration | Tom yum crab bitsque

I find inspiration from my travels. Of course, I read travel and food blogs for inspiration too. Tom yum goong with its pungent and zesty feast of flavours with every slurp is a soup I truly enjoyed when in Bangkok on a recent trip in October 2015. It is voted one of the most famous and delicious soups among both foreigners and Thais. Without fail, every year, it lands in the top ten list of most popular foods in the world. There’s just something about that tangy flavour and the rich colours which emanates Thailand.

These street stalls cook to order traditional thai curries, noodles and dishes.
These street stalls cook to order traditional thai curries, noodles and dishes.
Street foods, hot and spicy with vivid colours at the Chatuchak Markets
Street foods, hot and spicy with vivid colours at the Chatuchak Markets

The words “tom yum” are derived from two Thai words: “tom” and “yum”. “Tom” refers to boiling process, while “yum” refers to a kind of Lao and Thai spicy and sour salad. Thus, “tom yum” is a Lao and Thai hot and sour soup. Featuring all four of the famous Thai spices – salty, sour, sweet and spicy, the soup originates from Central Thailand. What I love most about tom yum goong is the flavors of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilli padi, pungent fish sauce and fresh lime juice, that all combines to create a healthy and soothing broth that will light up your taste buds. There are also optional add-ons, such as Nam Phrik Pao (chili jam), and sometimes evaporated milk or even coconut milk. The perfect tom yum goong should be a rich orange colour. The vividness comes from the fatty juice in the head of the river prawns, heightening the aroma, colour and taste of the soup.

Being non conventional, I love to innovate, playing with ingredients and flavours to challenge myself to create a thai inspired soup. A straight tom yum goong would have been safe but I just felt there was a need to add a little of my personal interpretation. I chanced upon @misstamchiak’s blog post recently on the latest food trend in Bangkok, a claypot of piping hot tom yum porridge with river prawns. At that moment, I had been sick with a bad cold and all I wanted was a comforting bowl of porridge. As I could hardly taste my food, I was craving for something spicy and zesty. I was tempted to fly to Bangkok to savour the tom yum porridge. An excellent remedy for a cold or flu bug, I knew this spicy Thai porridge will instantly clear my sinuses!

Most of you would know The Soup Spoon serves prawn bitsque prepared using traditional French techniques once a year during Christmas. Here, we decided to marry three very unique variations, tom yum goong X tom yum porridge X TSS prawn bitsque to come up with a tom yum inspired bitsque with red rice. Crabmeat was the choice seafood used instead of typical prawns as I have been obsessed with everything Alaskan crab legs since January. This would marry the French technique of extracting the seafood essence, the addition of the tom yum herbs and red rice to make it a healthy comfort food, highly nutritious with immune boosting power as a natural remedy for cold and flu virus.

Labout of love ingredients for our crab bitsque
Labour of love ingredients for our crab bitsque
Our tom yum inspired crab bitsque
Our tom yum inspired crab bitsque

Ingredients: crab, prawns, carrots, celery, leek, cauliflower, onions, garlic, shallots, coriander, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, blue ginger, lemon juice, lime juice, baby corn, oyster mushrooms, red rice, chilli padi, palm sugar, salt, cooking wine, evaporated milk and tomatoes.

Condiment: chopped coriander, lime wedge, cherry tomato, wanton skin.

( Seafood/Gluten free/Contains dairy/Spicy)

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