As part of SFoodie's interview with Tom Silargorn, chef-owner of Lers Ros -- part 1 and part 2 were published earlier this week -- we asked Silargorn for his recipe for tom yum koong. The soup gets ordered daily at Lers Ros, no matter what the weather or the time of day, he says. It's worth tackling at home because, once you secure just a couple of key ingredients, the soup is remarkably simple to make. Try Asian markets out on Clement for items like galangal and kaffir lime leaves; Duc Loi in the Mission is almost always sure to have these as well.
Tom Yum Koong (Hot & Sour Soup with Shrimp)
1 long piece lemongrass, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
4 slices galangal (in a pinch, substitute ginger)
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon prepared red chili paste
2 teaspoons coconut milk
4 fresh Thai bird's-eye chilis
5 oyster mushrooms
6 fresh peeled and deveined shrimp
Cilantro for garnish
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, turn down the heat to a slow simmer, and add the lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaves to steep in the simmering water for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add the shrimp, lemon juice, sugar, fish sauce, red chili paste, and fresh crushed chili to the pot, and give a stir.
Just as the shrimp is turning opaque -- 3-4 minutes -- add the oyster mushrooms and coconut milk, and cook for about 1 minute more. Serve in a warm bowl, finishing with minced cilantro or whole sprigs, depending on your preference.