Tom Yum Paste is a complex blend of spices and herbs that adds a unique flavor to Thai dishes. It is the key ingredient in the classic spicy and sour Thai soup known as Tom Yum soup. The paste is available for purchase in Asian grocery stores or online, but it is also easy to make at home if you have the necessary ingredients. Here, we will discuss the various ingredients needed to make Tom Yum paste from scratch and the process involved in making this delightfully delicious paste.
The Benefits of Making Tom Yum Paste at Home
By making your own Tom Yum paste from scratch, you can be sure that it is free from any added preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. You will also be able to adjust the spice level according to your liking. Moreover, the warm, fragrant aroma that fills your kitchen while you make the paste is something you will not get when you buy it in stores.
What You Need
The most important and prominent herb used in this recipe is lemongrass. This is what lends the paste its distinctive flavor, so be sure not to skimp on this ingredient. Galangal and lime leaves are also important for flavor.
A combination of chili peppers, garlic, and shallots bring the heat to this paste. Adding shrimp paste and fish sauce helps to balance out the flavors and give the paste some umami depth.
Tamarind paste is the other key ingredient in Tom Yum paste. It helps to thicken the paste, but it also adds a sweet and sour balance to the flavors.
In order to make the paste, you will need a mortar and pestle, a blender or food processor, and a small saucepan.
The process of making Tom Yum Paste begins with prepping all the necessary ingredients. Once that is done, you need to combine all the ingredients into a paste using a mortar and pestle. After the ingredients are pulverized, the paste is sautéed in a small saucepan until all the ingredients are well blended. Finally, it is put in a blender or food processor to get a smooth paste.
Preparing the Ingredients
The first step in making Tom Yum Paste is to prepare the ingredients. Begin by washing and peeling the lemongrass and lime leaves and chopping them into small pieces. Similarly, slice the chili peppers, garlic, and shallots into thin slices. After that, measure out the shrimp paste and fish sauce. Finally, mix the tamarind paste with a cup of warm water and set it aside.
Making the Paste
Once the ingredients are ready, start combining them in a mortar and pestle. Add the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, chili peppers, garlic, and shallots and grind them together with the pestle. Once they are pulverized, add the shrimp paste and fish sauce and blend them in until the paste forms.
Sautéing the Paste
Once the paste is ready, place the saucepan on low heat and add the paste to the pan. Fry the paste gently for a few minutes until it thickens. If you find that the paste is too thick, add a few tablespoons of the tamarind mixture and stir continuously until it thickens.
Finishing the Paste
When the paste has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a blender or food processor and blend it until it has a smooth texture. Let the paste cool and then store it in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What are the flavors of Tom Yum Paste?
A1: Tom Yum Paste has a unique flavor with a balance of spicy, sour, and sweet flavors.
Q2: How can I store Tom Yum Paste?
A2: Once made, store the paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Q3: What can I use Tom Yum Paste for?
A3: Tom Yum Paste is typically used in Thai soups and curries. It can also be used in stir-fries or salads to add a unique flavor to the dish.
Q4: What are the ingredients of Tom Yum Paste?
A4: Tom Yum Paste is made from lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, chili peppers, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and tamarind paste.
Q5: Can I buy Tom Yum Paste in stores?
A5: Yes, Tom Yum Paste is available in most Asian grocery stores. It is also available online at various websites.
Q6: How long does Tom Yum Paste last?
A6: If stored properly, Tom Yum Paste can last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
3 stalks of lemongrass, roughly chopped
6 fresh red chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped galangal
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons of shrimp paste
1 teaspoon of kaffir lime zest
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of lime juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
In a food processor, add all the ingredients and blitz until a smooth paste forms.
Transfer the paste to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
This paste is perfect for making Tom Yum soups or as an addition to any Thai curry.
You can store the paste in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Category: Condiment
- Cuisine: Thai
- Diet: Halal
Keywords: Tom Yum Paste, Thai Cuisine, Spicy Paste, , , ,