Tom Yum paste has recently become a staple ingredient in my travelling box of foodie bits. I’m sure you all have a jar or two of Patak’s curry paste and Mae Ploy Thai green curry paste in your fridges but do you have Tom Yum paste? You bloody should!
I picked this one up in Melbourne and since coming home, I’ve been scouring the shelves of every shop to find the exact same brand because it was hands down the best Tom Yum paste I’ve ever had. Zingy and full of sharp lime and lemongrass flavours but with a real punch of spicy heat. Perfection. If you can’t find this particular brand, there are plenty to choose from online too.
Much like my love of Marmite, I found myself needing to eat more and more of this delicious paste so I started slipping it into all of our meals! Here are my favourite (and lazy) ways to use it:
Tom Yum Soup
This is such a quick and easy meal. At its most basic level, all you need to do is add a couple of spoons of tom yum paste to 500ml veg or chicken stock and bring it to a simmer. Then chuck in the ingredients of your choice (e.g. prawns, quartered tomatoes, mushrooms) add a squeeze of lime, a dash of fish sauce and simmer until everything is cooked through. Serve with coriander, freshly sliced red chillies and a squeeze of lime juice.
Cheese, Tomato & Tom Yum On Toast
Hear me out on this… it’s really good! Think about it, how many of you add a squirt of Sriracha to your cheese on toast? This is really no different! Spread your toast with a thin layer of tom yum paste (and, sliced tomatoes if you’re feeling decadent) before adding cheese. Grill until bubbling and enjoy!
Tom Yum Egg Fried Rice
I quite often make egg fried rice to use up veggies which are on the turn. It’s also a good one for the end of the month when the budget is low and the cupboards are running on empty. The basic recipe I follow is a Gordon Ramsay one (see my previous blog post here) and I tend to chuck in whatever I have around.
For this version, I started by frying onions with the paste before adding carrots, green pepper and courgette. I let them cook until soft before adding soy sauce and fish sauce to taste. If you really love heat, you can also add extra chilli, garlic and ginger at the start when you’re frying the onions.
Once the veggies are soft, add cooked rice and stir through to warm. Push the rice to one side and crack in two eggs. Once they start to fry, mix them into the rice and veggies until cooked through!
I’ve also used Tom Yum in endless curries (as a base), in stir-fries and even in bowls of ramen as a seasoning. I know purists will be rolling their eyes at me but I can’t help it. The tangy sour spice just gets me! I think Tom Yum paste is great and encourage everyone to add it to their cupboard essentials list!
Do you have an unusual cupboard essential? What is it? I’d love to hear!