The Not-So Starving Student—Easy Tom Yum Soup Vermicelli

The Not-So Starving Student—Easy Tom Yum Soup Vermicelli

Ever craved some oriental flavored soup without feeling like taking hours to make a good soup broth? I know I have, and I’ve always looked for shortcuts in the kitchen without compromising taste. Tom Yum vermicelli is one of my favorite recipes because it’s a simple, hearty meal with all your nutritious ingredients in one bowl. Rather than making separate dishes and cleaning up for half an hour after the fact, this soup is so simple that you can enjoy it in under 30 minutes. If you’re looking to create your own broth, I’ve also created my recipe for making an authentic Thai Tom Yum clear broth.

For all this talk about rich flavors, you might be wondering what is Tom Yum? Tom Yum is derived from two Thai words. Tom refers to boiling and Yum refers to spicy and sour flavor combinations. Tom Yum is a part of local street food culture and home cuisine in Thailand. It features some seafood flavors with shrimp, clams, squid, and scallops. There are two versions of this soup. It can be prepared with a coconut milk base which gives a creamy texture, but the one I often prepare uses a clear broth with a combination of herbs and spices.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings)

2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
Tom Yum broth base (available at most large supermarkets or Asian supermarkets) I found mine at the Real Canadian Superstore
2 rolls/handful of rice vermicelli or clear glass noodles
3 cups water
1 cup white or, ideally, oyster mushrooms
½ cup shrimp, scallops, squid, or mussels/clams (or your favorite seafood).  Ensure this is thawed.
Alternatively, use ½ cup mixed frozen seafood (thawed).
5 slices tofu
½ cup cherry tomatoes
A few drops of lemon juice

Soup Broth Ingredients (from scratch):

1 stalk lemongrass
3 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic
1-2 thai red chilli peppers (to taste)
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 kaffir lime leaves

Instructions for making your own broth:
  1. Mince the lemongrass by mincing the lower half of the stalk while keeping the upper part whole.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock and turn heat to medium-high. Then add the lemongrass to the pot (both the bottom and top portions of the stalk) boil for 5 minutes or until lemongrass scent is present.
  3. Reduce heat to a low simmer then add garlic, chilli, lime leaves, and mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Use this as your broth and add all other vegetables and seafood ingredients to the broth.
  1. In a large stock pot add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the two rolls of rice vermicelli to boiling water (cook for 30 seconds for glass noodles or until soft for rice vermicelli).
  3. Drain the water and add the vermicelli to a bowl to set aside.
  4. Add the premade Tom Yum broth and bring to a boil.  If you’re looking to create your own broth refer to instructions above.  Then add mushrooms, tofu, tomatoes, and seafood. Cook on medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until the shrimps have turned pink and mushrooms are soft.
  5. Add few drops of lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
  6. Serve.
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