Sometimes, like when it’s snowing outside even though it’s March, or when you realise that you’ve been overdoing it a little lately (be that by working too much, drinking too much, eating too many M&Ms or all of the above), all you really want is a bowl of something hot, delicious and good for you. If it can come together in one pot, so much the better.
The crispy fried shallots are by no means essential, but if you can stretch yourself to this extra stage, you’ll be glad you did. You can even use the same pan to save on washing up, just decant the oil into a jar once it has cooled a bit and save it for the next time you’re frying. Make twice as many as you think you’ll need, as you won’t be able to stop yourself picking at them while the soup cooks. This soup is infinitely adaptable; sub in whatever vegetables you have lying around, use the kind of noodles you like best, exchange the coconut milk for stock if you don’t have it or fancy a more virtuous option, the principal is the same. —BurntCream
For the crispy shallots:
groundnut. sunflower or vegetable oil for deep frying
For the soup:
tom yum paste
thumb-sized piece of ginger,peeled and finely sliced
red chilli, finely chopped
large pak choi, chopped, green and white parts separated
To make the shallots, peel and slice finely and toss in the cornflour. Heat the oil to 160C (if you have a thermometer, otherwise until a small chunk of bread sizzles and turns golden when you drop it in) and fry the shallots in batches until crisp and gold. Drain on kitchen paper.
For the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the tom yum paste. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and add the ginger and chilli, followed by the coconut milk.
Once the noodles are a few minutes off being cooked, add the prawns, the green parts of the pak choi and a squeeze of lime. As soon as the prawns are pink and cooked through, add the coriander and check for seasoning adding more lime or fish sauce as desired.
Ladle into bowls and top with spring onions and crispy shallots.