Thai Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp and Noodles (Guay Tiew Tom Yum Goong)
Whole shrimp are traditional in this soup, but you can halve them crosswise before cooking to make them easier to eat. If galangal is unavailable, substitute fresh ginger. Makrut lime leaves add a lot to this soup. If you can’t find them, substitute three 3-inch strips each of lemon zest and lime zest. We prefer vermicelli made from 100 percent rice flour to varieties that include a secondary starch such as cornstarch. If you can find only the latter, soak them longer—up to 15 minutes.
- 4 ounces rice vermicelli
- 2 lemon grass stalks, trimmed to bottom 6 inches
- 4 scallions, trimmed, white parts left whole, green parts cut into 1-inch lengths
- 6 makrut lime leaves, torn if large
- 2 Thai chiles, stemmed (1 left whole, 1 sliced thin), divided, plus 2 Thai chiles, stemmed and sliced thin, for serving (optional)
- 1 (2-inch) piece fresh galangal, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for seasoning
- 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, trimmed and torn into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra for seasoning
- 1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus extra for seasoning, plus lime wedges for serving
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn if large (optional)
- 1 recipe Thai Chili Jam (Nam Prik Pao) (optional)
1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Remove from heat, add vermicelli, and let sit, stirring occasionally, until vermicelli are fully tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and distribute evenly among large soup bowls.
2. Place lemon grass, scallion whites, lime leaves, whole Thai chile, and galangal on cutting board and lightly smash with meat pounder or bottom of small skillet until mixture is moist and very fragrant. Transfer lemon grass mixture to Dutch oven. Add broth and sugar and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove solids from pot and discard.
3. Add mushrooms, fish sauce, scallion greens, and sliced Thai chile and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in shrimp. Cover and let sit off heat until shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and lime juice. Season with extra sugar, extra fish sauce, and extra lime juice to taste.
4. Ladle soup into bowls of noodles; sprinkle with cilantro and Thai basil, if using. Serve, drizzled with Thai Chile Jam, if using, and passing lime wedges and extra sliced Thai chiles, if using, separately.
PHOTO CREDIT: CARL TREMBLAY