I couldn't decide.
I wanted tom yum goong, and I also wanted something with lovely slippery rice noodles.
And what I really didn't want to do was make a wrong decision - I hate making wrong food decisions!
So I thought I'd make a tom yum noodles ... and it was exactly what I wanted.
A few things to note ...
1. the ingredients weren't hard to find so hopefully you won't find them so either. Galangal (although I used ginger here as that's what i had), lime leaves an lemongrass are all available at my local Sainsbury's although it is a really big one. M&S and Waitrose are a good bet otherwise, even smaller stores.
2. t's a bit of a faff picking the bits of ginger, lime leaf, lemongrass and chillies out of the pan, so I've just ordered some of those little muslin bags you use for spices or bouquet garni and when they arrive will be trying it using one to keep those ingredients separate and easy to remove.
So for a good big bowl of tom yum noodles, you'll need
rice noodles, soaked first or prepared as per pack instructions, ready to stir fry
1/2 cup water
a piece - around 1/3 - of a Knorr chicken stock cube
a piece of galangal or ginger, skin removed and cut into slices (make them quite large so they're easier to pick out later)
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer removed, cut into two or three pieces and bashed with a rolling pin
a few kaffir lime leaves, leaves torn from the stalks and stalks discarded (this smells AMAZING by the way))
2 or 3 birds eye chillies (don't worry, you don't actually eat the chillies), stalks removed and given a bash with the rolling pin
one shallot or a small piece of white onion, sliced
a big heaped teaspoon of chilli paste in oil nam prik pao
a couple of mushrooms, or one large one, sliced
one tomato, cut into quarters or sliced - or a few cherry tomatoes, halved
some prawns - I had 7 or 8 raw ones
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 limes depending on how juicy they are and your taste
small handful of coriander leaves, chopped (optional)
Add some water, probably half a cup or so (you can always add more) to a wok, deep frying pan or saucepan, turn on the heat and when it starts to simmer, crumble in approx 1/3 of a stock cube and stir.
Add the ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and chillies and simmer for two minutes, stirring and add a splash more water if needed.
Then add the vegetables and a good teaspoon of chilli paste in oil and simmer again for a couple of minutes.
Add the prawns and cook for a minute or so, stirring, until they have JUST turned pink - don't worry you'll cook them a bit more later and it's easy to over-cook them.
Remove pan from heat and pick out the bits of ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and chillies.
Return pan to heat and add the fish sauce, lime juice (stir and taste to see if you need more) then add the noodles.
Cook, stirring, for another minute of so until everything is cooked and hot.
Throw in the coriander leaves, if using, stir again, removed from heat and serve,
I absolutely love this - I love the flavours of tom yum and I love the softness of rice noodles - and hope you do too.