Canoodling noodles with tom yum goong

8 11 2009
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Tom yum goong instant noodles!

MY INTRODUCTION to Thailand has been by way of Tom Yum Goong (Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup).  I’ve had this soup in its many possible incarnations – at the Batu Ferringhi in Malaysia, at the Changi International Airport in Singapore, at the Bangkok International Airport, at Thai Siam in Old Folsom, at Amarin Thai also in Folsom, and at many different restaurants here in Manila.  To name a few, Sukothai, Malai Thai, Dusit Thani, Oody’s, Oody’s Express, The Banana Leaf Curry House, and Penang Hill.  As I write, I still maintain that Thai at Silk at the Serendra Piazza, makes the best version locally!  I mean, save for my own – made from scratch using a recipe from a Thai-Am friend – that I made to a rousing reception by an international crowd in a party years ago.  Yes, I know what you may be thinking – conceited.

But I’ve never had them with noodles.

So imagine my delight to discover three packs of instant Tom Yum Goong noodles this morning.  They’re just your usual instant noodles.  But the difference is that these have the famous Thai tom yum goong to flavor their broth.  The package design has images of a kaffir lime leaf, lime, lemongrass, fresh coriander, bird’s eye chilies, and shrimps – so even if I didn’t understand a single word on it, it was not quite a stretch to deduce the kinship of these foil packs.

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The powdered seasoning promises authentic hotness and spiciness in the broth. Look at all those crushed red pepper flakes!

I excitedly prepared one – not according to “package directions” as I am wont to describe instant noodle preparations – but according to how I know it should be.  Besides, as I have said, I couldn’t understand a word in the fine print.  Ripped open, each foil pack has a powdered seasoning packet and an oil sachet.  The powder was so sour and spicy – the finely crushed red pepper flakes were a dead giveaway – while the oil was actually a thick paste that oozed with the fragrance of kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and fresh coriander.  So I have to say, kinda authentic.  I put these in a fine china bowl, clearly not in the water I boil in a pot to cook the noodles.  Three minutes is not the magic number for me in cooking instant noodles.  It is always 30 seconds shy.  After two and a half minutes, I pour everything into the bowl with the flavorings.

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The noodles took a reddish tint, thanks to all the chilies in the broth. In the traditional recipe, I achieve the reddish tint by adding a heaping tablespoon of the "roasted chilies in oil." This was the sinful addition that Bangkoknians added to the original recipe that came fromt he Southern region of Thailand.

I always add a lot of fresh vegetables to instant noodles to jazz it up, not to mention, for an added crunch.  For this one, I used lots of napa cabbage and scallions.  Slurp-worthy goodness!

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Lots of fresh napa cabbage and scallions provided the crunch!


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I have three more! I might end up going full-on tom yum goong with the others!


Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.



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