Tom Yum Soup With Tofu and Vermicelli
Tom yum is a hot and sour soup from Thailand with lively notes of lemongrass, makrut lime leaves and galangal. There are many variations of this iconic soup, including tom kha (coconut milk and dominant galangal notes), tom yum pla (fish) and tom yum gai (chicken). This version is vegetarian, hence not traditional, but it is reminiscent of tom yum koong nam khon, a creamy version that uses canned evaporated milk. (Use coconut milk if you prefer). Tom yum is often moored by nam prik pao, a staple Thai chile paste of roasted chiles, shrimp paste and fish sauce, but in this recipe, a combination of soy sauce, lime, garlic and sambal oelek provides a similar umami kick. The addition of vermicelli and tofu is also unconventional, but it turns this soup into a hearty, quick and comforting weeknight dinner. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3ounces rice or mung bean vermicelli
- 2tablespoons soy sauce
- 2tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1tablespoon sambal oelek
- 1garlic clove, grated
- 1stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch sections and crushed
- 1(2-inch) piece ginger or galangal, peeled and finely sliced
- 2makrut lime leaves, finely sliced
- 4cups vegetable stock
- 4to 6 shiitake mushrooms (4 ounces), stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 6cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 17-ounce package silken tofu, broken into 5 or 6 large chunks
- 2teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- ¼cup evaporated milk (optional)
- 2scallions, finely sliced
- Handful of cilantro leaves
Step 1Soak the vermicelli in room temperature water for 10 minutes, until they have softened. (Disregard package instructions.) Drain and set aside.
Step 2Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, sambal oelek and garlic. Set aside.
Step 3In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the lemongrass, ginger, makrut lime leaves and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes. Discard the lemongrass stalks. Add the tomatoes and tofu, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tofu is warm and the tomatoes have softened.
Step 4Add the sambal oelek mixture, salt and drained vermicelli to the soup, stirring gently to break the tofu into bite-size pieces. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the noodles are transparent. Turn off the heat, and stir in the evaporated milk, if using.
Step 5Divide the soup into four bowls, top with scallions and cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.