Friday, July 10, 2009

Recipe: Po Tak Soup

There was a while back when I was sick, and all I ate was Thai Po Tak soup with boiled rice. Po Tak is a hot and sour soup very similar to Tom Yum Gong,. The main different is Tom Yum Gong uses Nam Prik Pow, a thai chilli paste/oil, which gives it the lovely red hot chilli glow.


- 1 Stalk of lemon grass (Only use the bottom white part)
- 3-4 slices of galangal
- 1-2 birds eye chillis
- 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves
- shelled prawns
- white fish cut into chunks
- Coriander
- Mushrooms
- Fish sauce
- Lime

In a pot of boiling water, add a few slices of galangal, torn kaffir lime leaves, the roots of the coriander, lemon grass and the chilli. You can throw the chillis in whole, or take a knife and make a small incision on one side. This lets out more heat, but isn't a blow your head off type heat.

Let this simmer for 10-15mins until the broth is fragrant. If you bought prawns with the shell on, you can opt to add the shells into the broth for extra flavour. Just remember to strain the shells and that it'll also turn the soup slightly orangey. Otherwise, add the prawns, fish and mushrooms into the pot. Season with fish sauce, sugar and a very generous squeeze of lime. Serve in a bowl with coriander sprinkled ontop and extra lime.

The resulting flavour should be hot, salty, sour and sweet. To control the heat, serve with or without the chilli. If the person likes it hotter, ask them to squish the chilli with the back of their spoon. This means the one pot can cater for people who don't like chilli and those that live for it. I love this soup and it goes so well with a bowl of boiled rice or some vermicelli added to it.

To turn this into a Tom Yum Gong, add a few spoonfuls of Nam Prik Pow and some tomato (optional).

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