Tom Yum Soup with Oyster Mushrooms
This light but punchy hot-and-sour soup from Thailand has many variations – you’ll sometimes see it with prawns or tofu in it, with all kinds of different vegetables added and occasionally enriched with coconut milk. But almost all versions seem to feature generous quantities of oyster mushrooms, which absorb the citrussy broth and add juicy, textural interest.
Most large supermarkets seem to carry a range of Thai ingredients these days, and if you can find some tom yum paste, making this soup is a doddle. Adapt this not-quite-vegetarian recipe (tom yum paste usually contains dried shrimp and we’re adding fish sauce) as you like, adding cooked chicken, prawns or tofu, and/or vegetables such as beansprouts, baby corn, sliced green beans or mangetout. Serve as a refreshing starter to an Asian meal or in larger portions as a snack.
- 250g grey oyster mushrooms
- 500ml light chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons tom yum paste
- 1 kaffir lime leaf
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
- Juice of half a lime (optional)
- 2–4 red birdseye chillies, sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (optional)
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Handful of fresh coriander leaves
- Lime wedges, to serve
- Using a pastry or mushroom brush, clean the oyster mushrooms. Trim the stems and cut or tear any large ones into 4cm slices.
- Put the stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the tom yum paste and the lime leaves and simmer gently for 3 minutes or so. Taste the broth – tom yum paste recipes vary, so see if you think it needs any adjustment. If you’re sticking with just the mushrooms, you probably don’t want the soup to be too sour, so you may wish to add a little sugar to round out the flavour slightly. If the soup isn’t sharp enough, add more lime, and more chilli if it isn’t hot enough for you. Add the fish sauce if you want it to be more salty.
- When you’re happy with the balance, add the oyster mushrooms and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until they’re cooked through but still holding their shape. Add the cherry tomatoes and coriander leaves, stir, and ladle into bowls. Serve with wedges of lime on the side.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK