Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Eat: Soup "A"

Who doesn't love Thai food? In Kingston, there are numerous Thai restaurants. Our favourite is Pat's. They don't have a website for you to visit, this Urbanspoon post is the closest. But this isn't a story about Pat's Restaurant (although you should go if you haven't already). This is a story about Soup A.
Before we tried Soup A, we were all about number 1 and number 6. Then, one day we were daring. We ordered Soup A. And were officially smitten. It warmed us up in a way numbers one and six didn't. And the serving is HUGE (we share it). We've tried other restaurants version of Soup A....but sadly they didn't compare. Pat's has a's creamier and richer than others. We set out on a mission to try to re-create it at home. So, here is how our Soup A (also know as Tom Yum Goon) turned out.

The Ingredients
Most followed us home on our last trip to Toronto, where there is a great Asian supermarket we love to visit. We fill our cart with exotic fruit and veggies, well priced fish and the best price on coconut milk ever.

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • shrimp (we had peeled shrimp in the freezer, but I'd get shell on next time. I used 2 small bags)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • juice of one lime
  • ginger (I think technically you should use galangal. but I couldn't find any)
  • thai basil
  • lemongrass
  • mushrooms....I used oyster and some others I found at the afore mentioned grocer
  • curry paste, I found a jar of paste that was specifically for Tom Yum soup
  • 1 litre ofchicken, fish or vegetable stock 
How I did it
I poured the stock into my pot. I then added a handful of shrimp shells from my freezer (I've been saving for well over a year, for a shrimp bisque recipe in a cook book I have. It will be epic when I have about 4lbs of shrimp shells. They are very light, so I suspect this will take me another year, unless we drastically increase our shrimp consumption) If you have unpeeled shrimp, don't bother with shells. Then I cut about 2" off my lemongrass stalk, crushed it a bit and threw that into the pot.
Then I added some slices of ginger and garlic, and let the whole thing simmer away for about 30 minutes.
I scooped out the floating bits and added my mushrooms

The darker coloured ones are oyster mushrooms. The little guys hiding under them are enoki, I'm not sure what the others are.
Curry paste, basil leaves and shrimp followed the mushrooms into the pot.
After the shrimp was pink, the coconut milk was slowly stirred in
Serve our Soup A over a mound of hot cooked rice, sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with cilantro. You'll soon see why the word "Yum" is in the name of the soup!
And Shawn found it "spoon worthy" Spoon worthy you ask? Well, that is a whole other story! I will share it soon!

 Soup A: Tom YUM Goon
The verdict
While very YUM, and deemed spoon worthy, I'd love to spend an afternoon in Pat's kitchen learning his secrets. For now, this is a fine substitute. Until then, when we need our real fix, it's to Pat's we will go. 

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