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Recipe from: Real Thai, The Best of Thailand's Regional Cooking by Nancie McDermott
Servings: 4 to 6
Here is a country-style version of tom yum, the classic Thai soup made with shrimp, lemongrass, and lime. This quick, simple tom yum uses cherry tomato for an additional sour note. Pla dook is catfish, but you can use any firm white fish fillet in this fresh-tasting sharp soup.
2 large stalks lemongrass
4 cups Basic Chick Stock, or other light chicken stock
2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
5 small prik ki nu, left whole, or 2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced crosswise
¼ pound catfish fillet, or any other meaty white fish, cut crosswise in 2 inch chunks
⅓ cup small fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 green onions, sliced into 1 inch lengths
3 cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
Trim the tops of lemongrass stalks. Cut away and discarg the grassy top of each stalk, leaving a stalk about 6 inches long. Cut away any hard root section to leave a clean, smooth, flat base at the root end below the bulb. Remove and discard tough outer leaves. Using a blunt edge of a cleaver or large knife, whack it firmly at 2 inch intervals, rolling it over to bruise the stalk on all sides.
Stem the prik ki nu. Place chilies under the flat side of a cleaver or chefs knife blade and crush them gently, pressing with the heel of your hand until they split open just enough to reveal their seeds and release their perfume. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken stock and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the lime juice and fish sauce in a serving bowl and set aside.
Remove the lemongrass from the saucepan and discard. Increase the heat to high and return the soup to a vigorous boil. Add the fish pieces and mushrooms. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the fish is opaque and the mushrooms are tender, about 2 minutes.
Add the green onions, chilies, and tomatoes, simmer 1 minute longer, and remove from the heat. Pour the soup into a serving bowl and stir gently to combine the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime juice and fish sauce if needed. Serve at once.