Tom Yum Paste / Marinade

Tom Yum Marinade
Tom Yum Marinade, in my mini-chopper: tremendous flavors!. Taken by D.Schmidt for About.com Copyright
    12 min
Ratings (18)

When I make Tom Yum soup, I never use a spice paste. But I do love this Tom Yum Paste as a marinade. It works wonders with all types of chicken, fish, and seafood, as well as pork. Just slather on this flavor-popping paste, then either bake, pan-fry or grill for a dish that sings with authentic Thai taste! The paste is easy to make - just whip it up in your mini food chopper or food processor. It's healthier than store-bought Thai pastes/marinades and tastes ten times better. ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 4 Tbsp. finely minced lemongrass, fresh or ready-prepared frozen (available at Asian food stores)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger or galangal, sliced
  • 1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried crushed chili (or substitute cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped coriander leaves & stems
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at Asian food stores)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (available at Asian food stores)
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3 heaping tsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
  • 2-3 spring onions sliced
  • optional: 1-2 Tbsp. coconut milk (this thins it out to make blending easier - if you want a thick paste, don't add it)

How to Make It

Tips for Using this Spice Paste:

  • Place all ingredients in a mini food chopper or food processor. Blitz to create a fragrant Tom Yum spice paste.
  • This paste is excellent over fish fillets or steaks, shrimp, and other shellfish, or chicken or pork pieces before grilling/cooking. With fish and seafood, there is no need to marinate (the lime juice will cause you to lose some of the juices) - just slather the paste over and cook right away .
  • If cooking for 2, use only half the paste as a marinade and save the rest to make a delicious side sauce. Place 1/2 the paste in a small sauce pan. Add 3-4 Tbsp. coconut milk OR fresh cream. Stir as you bring the sauce to a light simmer (avoid boiling, or you will lose the fresh flavor of this sauce). Drizzle over your entree, or serve on the side. Equally delicious over rice or new potatoes.
  • To use this paste for soup, bring a pot of good-tasting chicken stock to a boil. Add spice paste a few Tbsp. at a time, taste-testing as you go, until you're happy with the flavor/spice level. Add more fish sauce instead of salt as needed. Add shrimp or tofu, plus desired vegetables. Coconut milk should be added for a creamier soup.