Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
A few weeks ago, I tried a soup called "tom yom" or "somlaw tom yum," a thoroughly delicious fish, mushroom, tomato, lemongrass stew from a local Cambodian restaurant.
Heartily impressed with this very hearty stew, I decided to try to make my own version at home. I wanted to preserve both the excellent tomato base from the tom yom soup while marrying it to ginger, balsamic vinegar, lime, and lemon, along with rich onions, green flecks of cilantro, and savory garlic.
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The result was an excellent combination of these flavors, with a pinch of fire from peppers but not so much as to overwhelm the other flavors. The soup had a sharpness from the citrus, a sweetness from the tomato, and a savory quality from the garlic. Hearty and filling ramen noodles completed it all. For a cold winter night, I am convinced there is little better.
This recipe is entirely my own.
- 8 shallots (or 2 onions)
- 10 cloves garlic
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 750 ml (1/2 bottle) white wine
- 3 teaspoons dried ginger
- 2 pounds chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 10 ounces udon noodles (or similar noodle)
- 2 chipotle peppers
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- plentiful salt
- plentiful pepper
- 2 3 inch pieces of grated fresh ginger
- juice of 2 limes
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass
- olive oil, for sautéing and garnish
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (or additional juiced limes)
- 1/4 head cabbage
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Peel and finely chop the shallots. Place them in a bowl with the peppers, dried ginger, and 5 cloves of peeled and minced garlic. Heat olive oil in a large casserole dish, then sauté the combined ingredients until the shallots are soft and translucent.
- In a separate large pot, bring water to a boil to make the noodles. Prepare according to instructions, I used 10 ounces of udon noodles.
- Pour in the sesame oil to provide some more oil for sautéing. Add in the chopped chicken, and sauté until it is browned all over. Add in half of the cilantro; lemongrass, and chop and add in the tomatoes, and then the cabbage.
- Pour in 1/2 bottle of white wine, and then add water. Add in 1/2 of the balsamic vinegar, season with salt, and the lime juice. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add in the udon noodles and simmer for a few minutes.
- Before serving, add in all the remaining cilantro, balsamic vinegar, fresh ginger, lime juice, lemon juice, fresh mint, pepper, and some olive oil on top. Add these ingredients in quick succession to provide for fresh final flavors. Serve immediately for best flavor.