I am absolutely addicted to Tom Yum soup. In fact, I am completely obsessed with Tom Yum anything! It’s probably my most favourite ingredient at the moment. Tom Yum is a hot and sour paste, used quite often in Thai cuisine. I often use it in curries (chicken and prawn tom yum curry), soups (spicy tom yum butternut and coconut soup) and even dipping sauces when making Thai fish cakes. My latest Tom Yum triumph is steamed mussels in a Tom Yum and coconut broth. A perfect dinner on a hot summers evening. Be sure to have a loaf of crusty bread to dunk in any leftover sauce.
Scrub the mussels with a small brush until the shells are clean and remove the “beard” of the mussel (little brown threads between the two shells). Discard any mussels that are already open or with broke shells. Set aside.
Heat a little oil in a heavy based pot, and gently fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and lemon grass for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Stir in tom yum paste and fry for another minute or two.
Add wine and mussels to the tom yum mixture, cover the pot with a lid and allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the mussels have steamed open. Remove any mussels that have not opened after cooking. Add coconut milk and heat through.
Season with a little soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately in individual bowls with a ladle full of broth. Serve with crusty bread to help mop up any leftover broth.
While the Northern Hemisphere is stashing away thick coats and umbrellas, swopping hot chocolate for ice lollies as it gets ready for Spring time, over in South Africa we are also celebrating the concept of new life over Easter.