The above picture of a cat was taken in the ‘Lovely Cat Cafe’ in Lampang. There is absolutely no correlation between the cat and the remainder of this post.
Vegetarian Tom Yam Noodles (adapted from Maeban magazine)
Caroline translated this from Thai, which took longer than it will take you to make the dish.
Here is a print-friendly PDF version of the recipe.
Egg noodles or fettuccine (or rice noodles if you’re vegan) – enough for three people
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh milk (vegans can use coconut milk)
5 slices galangal
2-3 stalks lemongrass bruised, white parts sliced diagonally
2-3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
3 shallots, bruised and sliced
50g mushrooms (preferably oyster or abalone, but you can use any mushroom you like) torn to bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, chopped into rounds
50g sweet peas
2 Tbsps vegetarian nam prik pao (Thai chilli paste. This shouldn’t be a problem to find. Learn about what it is here.)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce (fish sauce is great here too for the non-vegetarians)
1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper (or ten crushed peppercorns if you want to be pedantic)
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
Boiling water for cooking the noodles
1) Mix the milk (or coconut milk) and water together in a saucepan and bring to the boil. When it begins to boil, add galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime and shallots. Reduce heat to a simmer.
2) Add mushrooms, carrots, and peas, and simmer for a while until the vegetables are cooked.
3) Season with nam prik pao, soy sauce (or fish sauce), and salt. Once the flavours have melded together, add the lime juice, pepper and coriander.
4) Boil noodles (or fettuccine) until cooked and drain. Divide noodles into three bowls and pour the soupy goodness over them.
5) Take photos. Eat. Weep.
Note: Feel free to add any meat or seafood to make it a non-vegetarian dish – just add it during method no. 2.
This dish is best served with a glass of onions.