Mae Gabriel lives in Jersey with her family and has a wonderful blog with her thoughts (and beautiful photos) on travel, home styling and delicious food ideas which is well worth taking a look at. She has a wonderful clean and minimalist style and her sense of design is inspiring.
If you're looking for a bit of spice and warmth to cheer up these long, grey January days then this recipe from Mae is for you.
Hot Prawns Tom Yum
This serves two for a good lunch accompanied with steamed rice or pre-boiled thin flat rice noodles.
You can use either fish broth or plain water, it's up to you and depends on what's available. For this, I used plain water as a base then, about a dozen of heads and shells from pre-cooked french crevettes which I placed in a bowl and pounded for use later in the cooking process.
I used some hot water from the pan and added it to the bowl using a sieve, I added the prawn juice in the pan, discarding the shells.
Add the ground chilli & garlic oil according to your heat resistance. I can take it hot, hot, hot so I would usually put a whole tablespoon in my bowl.
I used frozen pre-cooked gambas which I rinsed in cold water and thawed before use.
This soup needs to be served up immediately so you can savour all the flavours whilst it's fresh and hot.
8 gambas | 1 heaped tbsp tom yum paste | 1 ltr fish broth or plain water | 2 lemongrass [sliced diagonally] | 1 large onion [sliced in to 6] | 5 kaffir lime leaves | 1 galangal root [sliced thinly] | 2 plum tomatoes [quartered] | 2 heaped tbsp tamarind paste | 2 tbsp fish sauce | 2 heaped tbsp coconut cream | 1 tbsp ground chilli & garlic in oil
Place the water or fish broth in a deep pan. Put on the hob on medium heat. Add the tom yum paste and stir. Add the sliced onions, tomatoes, lemongrass and galangal. Bring to a simmer. This takes about 5 minutes.
Add the tamarind paste and season with the fish sauce, tasting often and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Add the coconut cream to the broth. Stir gently and bring the broth back to a simmer. Add the prawns and simmer and stir gently for 5 minutes then add the kaffir lime leaves. Turn off the heat.
Divide the soup into bowls and add the ground chilli & garlic oil to each bowl depending on the heat required.
Serve whilst hot with jasmine rice on the side or on its own with chopped coriander on top [optional].