When I read a recipe I like to use it as inspiration and make it as easy to replicate, but still keep the original amazing flavour.
I don't think cooking should be hard and I don't think that it should make people shy away from staying home for dinner. I think cooking should be fun and creating flavourful meals should be easy.
When I was given a recipe for Tom Yam Gung (Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup), I almost put it down and vowed to only enjoy it when I ate out. But then I thought to myself that I could replace making a time intensive shrimp broth with simple seafood (or even veggie broth) and just add in a few extra flavours. It worked when I made Wonton Noodle Soup, so why wouldn't it work now?
Well, wouldn't you know it. My idea worked. I think my simple version of Tom Yam Gung is just as good as the homemade broth version!
6 cups of seafood stock (or veggie stock)
2 stalks of lemongrass, bottom 3 inches only and cut in half
6 slices of galangal or 3 slices of ginger
3 large king oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 cup of enoki mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon thai chili sauce, homemade or purchased
1/4 - 1/2 cup of lime juice
1 pound of small shrimp, peeled
1. Pour stock into a large pot and add in the galangal and lemongrass. Bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes to extract the flavour from the galangal and lemongrass.
2. Remove the galangal and lemongrass from the stock and add in the mushrooms, fish sauce, and chili sauce. Simmer until mushrooms are cooked, about 5 -7 minutes.
3. Add in the shrimp and lime juice and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Season to taste with more fish sauce for salt and more lime juice for sourness.
4. Serve immediately.
If you're looking for a more substantial meal, much like Luke always is, just add in some thin rice noodles. Just soak 1/2 a package of rice noodles in a large bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes and then add them to the soup when you add in the shrimp.
You'll know that the noodles are ready to add to your soup when you pick one up and it's flexible and feels like an elastic band!