Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk ("Tom Khaa")

1/2 can coconut milk
good-quality OR 1/2 can evaporated milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
available at all Asian/Chinese food stores and some supermarket chains
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro)
roughly chopped
5 cups chicken stock
6 bags Teatulia lemongrass herbal infusion tea
or fresh lemongrass, smashed and chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 whole red chilies
finely sliced, OR substitute 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed chili
3 whole kaffir lime leaves
available fresh or frozen at Asian stores
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
or a generous handful, sliced thinly
12 medium raw shrimp
shells removed
extra vegetables of your choice
optional (such as cherry tomatoes & broccoli)
  • deep cooking pot
Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and bring to a boil.
Add the lemongrass tea and boil for 1-2 minutes. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor.
Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1-2 minutes.
Add the shrimp (plus other vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and broccoli, if using). Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk plus fish sauce and lime juice. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot.
Remove the tea bags at this point. Test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt (I usually add 1 more tablespoon), or more chili as desired. If too sour, add 1/2 tsp. sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you'd like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over it. ENJOY!