I was pretty desperate for food photos for the past week or so ... otherwise i will not live up to the title of food blogger. In fact, i was so desperate - that i bugged my mom to cook some thing different - LOL. Her response was "home cooked food also want to take pics??" ..
Anyway, it was good she was cooking @ home because the last week or so i was feeling pretty crooked. Bones aching, mild sore throat, i think i was about to come down with something. Luckily she made tom yam at home. Lucky you say? Actually, whenever i feel i need a pick me up with the flu, I normally eat really spicy stuff. Chillies are good for you with a lot of vitamin C and after each "eating" session ( provided you don't head for the loo first ), you sweat it out. Besides tom yam, i eat kimchi noodles, curry, asam laksa - whatever that is spicy and i will down it. Excluding Jalapeno and Habenero - i said i want to sweat it out not kill myself.
She decided for Tom Yam as she was craving for some as well. Tom Yam was pretty popular in the 80s as a noodle dish. You could find most hawker stalls selling this noodle dish with bee hoon and mee along with a large prawn and other condiments - these days it's pretty rare and centered mostly in Thai shops.
I like my mom's version with the help of bottled tom yam paste. Base is made of chicken stock to give it even more flavor to the soup. Depending on how hot you want your tom yam, 1 teaspoon for nicely tangy and hot but if you want butt-kicking hot, top up with 2-3 teaspoons more. She normally adds chicken meat, fish cakes and 1/2 an egg to make the dish complete. Our friendly grocer ran out of bean sprouts that day, so it was ... choy sum for tom yam. Mom thought it was a bit weird.
To make the dish smell even nicer, you cannot miss out the serai, kaffir leaves and that other veggie - chinese basil i think that gives it the aroma of tom yam. I must say i was a happy kitty after the meal and sweated it out as I wanted. :) Flu .. Gone!
If you are not keen on the soup version, the tom yam paste can be used in your fried bee hoon. I used to cook it while in Uni and makes a simple yet tasty dish.
So if you are feeling a bit blue or cold - remember- hot chilli food.