Like Tracey, I’ve been plagued with winter colds already. It’s getting quite ridiculous I’ve been sick for about 3 weeks now!
My hubby has been doing a brilliant job of taking care of me though by making me extra hot and spicy tom yum soup – with a base of homemade organic chicken stock (Sarah Wilson’s recipe – which is easy and so yummy!)
I’ve been enjoying my tom yum because it’s one of my favourite foods, and I LOVE spicy food, but little did I know it’s also a brilliant cold and flu remedy! I found this online ….
Aside from being one of the most popular soups in Thailand, Tom Yum Soup has many health benefits, due its potent combination of herbs and spices. In fact, this Thai soup is currently under scientific study, as it appears to have immune-boosting power as a natural remedy for cold and flu viruses.
For years, zesty Tom Yum Gung soup has been a mainstay of Thai cooking. And now researchers are thinking it just might have cancer-fighting ingredients as well as good taste. “Tom Yum Gung is Thailand’s most favorite soup,” according to Chef Rolf Schmitz of the Regent Hotel’s Spice Market restaurant. “It’s a shrimp soup with herbal ingredients like coriander, lemon grass, lime leaves and even galangal roots.” Also called hot-and-sour soup, the dish often includes straw mushrooms and a variety of chilies.
A recent joint study by Thailand’s Kasetsart University and Japan’s Kyoto and Kinki Universities has found that the ingredients in Tom Yum Gung soup are 100 times more effective in inhibiting cancerous tumor growth than other foods. Scientists are seeking to extract the chemical compounds that are most effective from soup ingredients, said Suratwadee Jiwajindra of Kasetsart University. Research also is focusing on edible plants in the region. “The ratio of the cancer pattern in Asians, especially southeast Asians, is very low compared with the pattern in the European and Western countries,” Jiwajindra said. In fact, Thais have a much lower incidence of digestive tract cancers than people do in other countries.
I definitely think there’s definitely some truth in this, as since I started having it frequently my cold has pretty much disappeared – and it definitely cleaned out the sinuses!
Here’s the Tom Yum recipe we invented:
- 3 cups of homemade chicken stock (I use this recipe and use a whole organic chicken)
- 1 cup of water
- 1.5 -2.5 teaspoons of tom yum paste (depends how spicy you like it)
- A large handful of fresh prawns or shrimps, or you could use other seafood or chicken if you prefer.
- A few dashes of fish sauce
- 1 red chili
- The juice of 2 lemons – I use lemons because limes and kaffir lime leaves are hard to source in Christchurch, plus we have an excess of lemons, but use whatever you like.
- A crushed clove of garlic
- A teaspoon of chopped lemongrass
- About an inch of grated fresh ginger
- 1 spring onion finely chopped
- Coriander for garnish
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar (or to taste depending on how you like it)
- I always add a little salt and pepper too.
- Vermicelli noodles.
Bring the stock and water to the boil and add the prawns, tom yum paste, fish sauce, chili, lemon juice, garlic, and lemongrass. Simmer for 3 minutes approx. until meat is cooked. Grate in your fresh ginger, add your salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. One minute before serving I add the vermicelli noodles so they are just softened through but don’t break apart. Sprinkle the spring onions and coriander on top. Easy!
To serve I use tongs to divide the noodles into the bottom of the bowls, then I ladle the broth and prawns on top with extra spring onion and coriander for garnish. This soup is seriously AMAZING, much better than I’ve tried in any Thai restaurants.
The trick is to add all the fresh yummy ingredients as well as the tom yum paste.
Do you like Tom Yum? What are your favourite winter cold remedies?