Spicy Thai cuisine is probably my next favorite after Indian cooking. Oddly enough, I have rarely cooked authentic Thai food, opting instead for take out from Thai Taste, my favorite Thai restaurant in London. I suppose that is one of the reasons I chose Thai soups and salads for the theme for this month's No Croutons Required; this challenge inspired me to come up with a Thai meal in addition to getting some lovely ideas from fellow bloggers.
I always prefer to make my own spice blends and sauces, and so I made a fresh Nam Prik Pow sauce in preparation for the soup. Also known as Nam Prik Pao, this traditional chili paste is almost always prepared with shrimp paste — a warning to vegetarians going out to eat, just because you order a vegetable or bean curd dish with Nam Prik Pow does not mean that you will be eating vegetarian! So this is a vegetarian version using tamari sauce to infuse that wonderful salty or briny taste into the sauce. You will end up with more of the sauce than you need for this recipe, but this sauce is delicious served over egg noodles or with some fresh or lightly cooked vegetables as well.
Served alongside a homemade Thai massaman curry, this soup was a great hit with wonderful layers of spicy, sour and lemony flavors contrasting beautifully with tender chunks of tasty oyster mushrooms. It was light at the same time to provide a balance with the heavier massaman curry.
This recipe is adapted from Thai Vegetarian Cooking by Vatcharin Bhumichitr. I will have more to say about this amazing cookbook in future, which contains 130 recipes for authentic salads, appetizers, snacks, soups, curries, desserts and much more. The book contains extensive photographs, helpful explanations of ingredients used in Thai cooking and a fascinating snapshot of the country and its cooking traditions.
Just a quick note: most of these ingredients are available in large grocery stores these days, but a quick trip to an Asian grocer will locate green eggplants and kaffir lime leaves for a more authentic taste — I have however included substitutes for these ingredients.
|Hot and Sour Thai Mushroom Soup with Nam Prik Pow|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Thai Vegetarian Cooking
Published on January 18, 2010
Simple but delicious hot and sour mushroom soup seasoned with a vegetarian Thai Nam Prik Pow chili sauce
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Nam Prik Pow Sauce:
Miso Seaweed Broth with Mushrooms and Carrots
Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper
Miso Soup with Wild Mushrooms
Oseng Oseng Tempe
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