Tom Yum Soup with Prawns & Chicken Meatballs

Ever since a colleague introduced me to Noob Cook, I’ve been eagerly combing the website to identify suitable Asian recipes that I can cook here in India. Her Tom Kha Talay  is something completely doable and I had meant to cook it today, only to be too lazy to source for good fish fillets. Instead, I decided to tweak the recipe somewhat and popped over to the nearby cold storage (unfortunately, not the Cold Storage back home. Cold storage here are shops which sell fresh chicken meat, pork, mutton, eggs and sometimes other frozen meats/seafood etc.) and got some fresh chicken meat to make meatballs. The chicken meatballs turned out pretty fragrant and sweet, and unlike most times, I actually noted down the ingredients that went in (it was pretty much a “I think this should work so let’s try lat” first-time effort). So here’s the recipe for my tom yum soup with prawns and chicken meatballs. 

Serves 2
Cook 15 minutes

for chicken meatballs
200g chicken breast fillet, chopped into smaller pieces
200g chicken thigh (skinless, boneless), chopped into smaller pieces
4 fat garlic cloves, peeled
2 small shallots, peeled
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves & stem (around 3-4 small stalks)
1 level tsp salt

the rest
700ml water
40-50g tom yum paste
1 stalk  fresh basil
1 lime
2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
1 chilli padi
150g french beans, tips removed, cut to 1.5inches pieces
100g fresh button mushrooms, quartered (stems removed if preferred. For me, I removed the stems but throw them into the soup for the flavour and extra crunch) 
11-12 medium sized prawns, shelled & deveined (tails left)
Fish sauce
Chilli flakes
Mint leaves
Tobasco sauce (optional/if needed)

1. Mince the 400g of chicken meat together (pulse on and off in a food processor). Scoop out the chicken meat into a mixing bowl. Next, add the garlic, shallots, mint leaves, coriander and salt into the food processor. Blend until ingredients are finely chopped. Scrape the mixture into the chicken mince and stir well to blend. With slightly wet hands, scoop out a generous tablespoon worth of the mixture and gently roll it into balls. Set the meatballs aside on a plate. Mixture should yield around 9-10 meatballs.

2. To make the soup base, bring water to boil in a deep saucepan. Add tom yum paste, basil, juice of lime, kaffir lime leaves and chill padi. Let mixture simmer for a while.

3. Carefully add the chicken meatballs into the soup. After around 7 minutes, the meatballs will float to the surface (a sign that they are cooked). Add mushrooms and french beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add prawns and cook for another minute.

4. Season with fish sauce, chilli flakes and tobasco sauce (if you need more spice and sourness). Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.


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