- Course: Appetizer, Hot Appetizer, Main Course
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 140 Times
I know that for some people nothing feels more restoring than something warm and unchallengingly bland, but when it’s succor and sustenance I need, it’s spice that I want. This soup, torn yam—the culinary equivalent of Friar’s Balsam—clears the tubes and brings fire to the jaded soul. And there’s nothing like a bit of searing heat to push away any hungover seediness. It’s good for those days when you’re thick with cold, too.
It’s easy to throw together: the chicken stock I make out of boiling water and bouillon granules, and the torn yam hot and sour paste is sold now at most supermarkets, along with the other ingredients, too.
- 6½ cups chicken stock
- 1 heaping tablespoon torn yam hot and sour paste
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped, optional
- 1 stick lemongrass, tender inner part only, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2–3 small jalapenos or fresh red or green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons straw or button mushrooms, halved or quartered according to size
- 1 pound 2 ounces peeled raw shrimp, thawed if frozen
- 5 small scallions, cut into short lengths and then into strips
- Small bunch cilantro, chopped
Heat the stock and torn yam paste in a decent-sized saucepan with the lime leaves, lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce, chillies and sugar. Bring to the boil, add the mushrooms and simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the shrimp and scallions and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked but still tender. Sprinkle with a little cilantro and put more on the table for people to add themselves as they want.
© 2002 Nigella Lawson
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.