There's been a coup at Khiewchanta.com! Chef Appon was removed at spatula point, and in is Chef Win! Chef Win is an actual Chef, and long time contributor to this blog. He's back from work in Singapore and will be making videos to fill the time till the situation in Thailand improves and he opens his own noodle shop.
Today's recipe with video is Tom Yum Pork Noodles, a rich sour Tom Yum soup base, noodles for the carbs and bulk of the dish, pork and fish balls and meat for the protein, beansprouts for vegetables, and fried garlic and other garnishes to make it interesting!
Noodle dishes can be very daunting with so many ingredients but take it step by step and you'll get the hang of them. I've made a video of Chef Win preparing the noodles for you below.
Ingredients for Stock
3 liters water
250 gms Pork bones (Pork Spine, Back ribs etc.)
250 gms Pork meat
250 gms Pork Ribs Cut Small
1 Medium Daikon Radish
1 Medium Onion
1/2 a Chinese Cabbage
8 Cloves of Garlic
1 Coriander Root
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper-Corns
5 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sugar
Preparation for Stock
1. The stock needs to be prepared well ahead, it takes a good 4 hours of simmering to get the flavor into the stock and the pork falling off the bones!
2. Into a large pan place the water, and bring it to the boil.
3. When the water is boiling, we add the vegetables. Pound the coriander root and garlic, add it, peel and slice the radish into thick slices and add that, cut the onion, a course chopping is better, add it.
4. You don't need to chop the cabbage, just add it whole to the pan. It breaks downs under cooking.
5. Bring it back to the boil, and add the meat, bring it back to a roaring boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.
6. Win likes to toast the peppercorns and add them whole, cooking them off in a frying pan to bring out the flavour. You can simply add them.
7. Add the remaining ingredients, cover the pan and simmer for 4 hours by which time the meat should be falling off the bone, and the bone flavors will dissolved into the stock.
8. Adjust the salt, about a teaspoon is needed for this quantity, but taste to make sure.
Ingredients for Tom Yum Soup
1 Tablespoon per Portion of Chilli Oil*
1 Galangal Root
1 Lemon Grass
4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
8 Bird Chillies (Spicy!)
2 Small Limes
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Coriander Roots
Preparation for Soup
1. The Chilli oil is an ingredient you'll find in Asian supermarkets, its ground chillies, soybean boil, tamarind crushed shrimp and shrimp paste. Don't try to make it yourself it needs to be brewed for a long time to have good flavor, and nobody in Thailand makes there own! Win says they call this 'Chilli Jam' in Singapore where he was a chef.
2. Separate out the bones and the stock, the stock is used as the base for the Tom Yum Soup, the meat and ribs are kept aside, and the stock bones discarded.
3. Take the stock in a pan. We need to dilute the stock down a little for our Tom Yum Soup, Win adds about 1/4 extra water to the stock. So if you have 2 litres of stock left after boiling, add about half a litre of water.
4. Bring it back to the boil, peel and slice the galangal, add it.
5. Slice the lemon grass thinly and add that
6. Slice the kaffir lime leaves finely and add those.
7. Break the coriander root with the flat of the knife and add that
8. Add a good couple of tablespoons of the chillie oil to the soup. You want a good deep red colour.
9. Add the fish sauce.
10. Stir and turn off the heat.
11. Break the chillies, either pound them or use the flat of the blade to break it and add those.
12. Squeeze the limes in for sourness.
13. Now is a good time to taste the soup, you want a spicy sour taste that is the classic taste for Tom Yum. If it's not sour enough, squeeze more limes in, if its not spicy enough add more chillies, and if its not salty enough, add fish sauce.
Ingredients for Noodles
Big Rice Noodles
Fried Fish Balls
Ingredients for Garnish
Culantro (aka Spicy Cilantro)
1. Getting the ingredients is the difficulty here. You need a good selection of fish balls and pork balls, a noodle dish is really a big plate of little surprises, and the exact ingredients don't matter so much as you provide a good selection of them. The main one to get is the beansprouts. Omit or swap the ingredients you can't get, but don't miss the beansprouts!
2. Culantro is related to coriander, in Thailand we call it 'Foreign Coriander' or Spicy Coriander, and it is very similar to Coriander in flavor, but adds some extra visual appeal to the dish. Remember noodles are a big plate of complexity and that extends to the garnish too!
3. Take a pan of clean water and bring it to the boil. The noodles and other ingredients are cooked in this pan of water, not in the soup!
4. For noodles, a large deep sieve is used, the ingredients are places into the sieve and lowered into the boiling water to heat and sterilize. Fish balls, pork balls, are pre-cooked during manufacture, they need to be heated and brought back up to a high temperature to serve them.
5. Start with the noodles, put them in the sieve, lower them into the boiling water and boiled for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove drain and place them in your noodle bowls.
6. Next the beansprouts, into the sieve they go, and lower them into the boiling water to blanch and steralize, remove and add them to the noodle bowl.
7. Next up is meat balls and fish balls, into the sieve, lowered into the boiling water, for a minute, lift out, drain and add to the bowls.
8. Slice some meat and add some of the ribs to the sieve, lower into the boiling water, 20-30 seconds, remove, let them drain and add them to the bowl. Although this meat was cooked recently, its better to bring them back up to temperature. In street food they do this to sterilize the meat too.
9. Ladle the tom yum soup into the bowl. Allow enough soup so the noodles and other ingredients are swimming in plenty of soup.
10. Onto the top goes the garnish, a teaspoon of fried garlic, some sprigs of coriander leaves, and some finely sliced Culantro.
11. Serve immediately with chopsticks to eat the noodles and Chinese spoons for the soup. Noodles are a complete meal, so although there's a lot to do in noodle preparation, its a a one course wonder in its own right.