Thai Tom Yam Paste


Thai Tom Yam Paste

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes


Ingredients:
· Makes approx. 3/4 cup Tom Yum paste (enough to marinate up to 6 pieces fish or chicken)
· 4 Tbsp. finely minced lemongrass, fresh or ready-prepared frozen (available at Asian food stores)
· 5 cloves garlic
· 1 thumb-size piece ginger or galangal, sliced
· 1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried crushed chili (or substitute cayenne pepper)
· 1/2 cup fresh chopped coriander leaves & stems
· 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at Asian food stores)
· 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
· 2-3 Tbsp. coconut milk
· 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
· 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (available at Asian food stores)
· 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
· 3 heaping tsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
· 2-3 spring onions, sliced

Preparation:
· Place all ingredients in a mini food chopper or food processor. Blitz to create a fragrant Tom Yum spice paste.
Tips for Using this Spice Paste:
· This paste is excellent over fish fillets or steaks, shrimp and other shellfish, or chicken or pork pieces before grilling/cooking. With fish and seafood, there is no need to marinate (the lime juice will cause you to lose some of the juices) - just slather the paste over and cook right away .
· If cooking for 2, use only half the paste as a marinade and save the rest to make a delicious side sauce. Place 1/2 the paste in a small sauce pan. Add 3-4 Tbsp. coconut milk OR fresh cream. Stir as you bring the sauce to a light simmer (avoid boiling, or you will lose the fresh flavor of this sauce). Drizzle over your entree, or serve on the side. Equally delicious over rice or new potatoes.
· To use this paste for soup, bring a pot of good-tasting chicken stock to a boil. Add spice paste a few Tbsp. at a time, taste-testing as you go, until you're happy with the flavor/spice level. Add more fish sauce instead of salt as needed. Add shrimp or tofu, plus desired vegetables. Coconut milk should be added for a creamier soup.

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