Tom yum

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Tom yum
Soup
Tom yum.jpg
Tom yam kung in Japan
Alternative name(s):
Tom yam
Place of origin:
Laos and Thailand
Main ingredient(s):
stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers
Recipes at Wikibooks:
Cookbook Tom yum
Media at Wikimedia Commons:
Wikimedia Commons  Tom yum
 
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Tom yum
Soup
Tom yum.jpg
Tom yam kung in Japan
Alternative name(s):
Tom yam
Place of origin:
Laos and Thailand
Main ingredient(s):
stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers
Recipes at Wikibooks:
Cookbook Tom yum
Media at Wikimedia Commons:
Wikimedia Commons  Tom yum
Tom yam kung as served in Bangkok, Thailand
Tom yam kung maphrao on nam khon, as served in Uttaradit, Thailand

Tom yum or tom yam (Lao: ຕົ້ມຍຳ [tôm ɲam]; Thai: ต้มยำ, [tôm jam]) is a spicy clear soup typical in Laos and Thailand. Tom yum is widely served in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and has been popularised around the world.

Literally, the words "tom yum" are derived from two Tai words: "tom" and "yam". "Tom" refers to boiling process, while "yam" refers to a kind of Lao and Thai spicy and sour salad. Thus, "tom yum" is a Lao and Thai hot and sour soup. Indeed, tom yum is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers.

In neighbouring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, the name tom yum is used widely for various spicy soups which can differ greatly from true Lao and Thai tom yum soup. As a result, people are often confused by the disparities.

Commercial tom yum paste is made by crushing all the herb ingredients and stir frying in oil. Seasoning and other preservative ingredients are then added. The paste is bottled or packaged and sold around the world. Tom yum flavoured with the paste may have different characteristics from that made with fresh herb ingredients. The soup often includes meats such as chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp.

The 1997 Financial Crisis in Asia, which started in Thailand, is sometimes referred to as the "Tom Yam Kung Crisis".[1]

Selected types[edit]

In the modern popularized versions the soup contains also mushrooms - usually straw mushrooms or oyster mushrooms. The soup is often topped with generous sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro (coriander leaves). Sometimes Thai chili jam (nam phrik phao, Thai: น้ำพริกเผา) is added: this gives the soup a bright orange color and makes the chili flavour more pronounced. The Royal Lao version of tom yam includes a pinch of rice in the soup.

Other sour and spicy soups[edit]

Less well-known outside Thailand is tom khlong (ต้มโคล้ง), a spicy sour soup where the sourness, however, does not derive from lime juice but through the use of tamarind.[9] Tom som (Thai: ต้มส้ม) are soups that are also very similar to tom yum but most often do not contain lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves. Depending on the type of tom som, the acidity can be derived from lime juice or from the use of tamarind.[10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]