Tom Yam Kung
Tom Yam Kung is the most familiar dish in Thai cuisine. The soup base is made of galangal, sour seeds, lemongrass, green onion, lime, pepper, fish sauce, etc., plus fresh shrimps and straw mushrooms. It tastes pungently sour and spicy, but very refreshing. But remember, this dish is called Tom Yum Kung and it might be superfluous to say Tom Yum Kung Soup. In Thai, Tom means soup, Yam means hot and sour, and Kung means shrimp. Therefore, the appellation Tom Yam Kung itself suffices to explain the dish. By the same token, when it comes with chicken instead of shrimp, it is called Tom Yam Chicken; with assorted seafood, Tom Yam Seafood; with coconut cream, Tom Yam Coconut Cream.
The origin of Tom Yum Kung can be traced back to the Thonburi Kingdom of Thailand when King Taksin, a.k.a. Zheng Xin, was in reign. One day, his daughter, Princess Miaoyun, fell ill, became bedridden and lost her appetite. The king was very anxious and ordered all the imperial chefs to come up with a delectable dish to whet her appetite, who mixed lime, chili pepper and other hot and sour ingredients together with shrimps to make a brightly colored, hot, sour and sweet soup to stimulate the princess’ appetite. The result was successful and greatly appreciated. The King was much delighted and named it Tom Yam Kung to be the soup of the nation. Armed with the royal consent, Tom Yum Kung soon spread all over the nation, but it must be noted that there are two mainstreams of styles, the Southern Style that uses coconut cream looks orange-red whereas the Northern Style comes with a clear broth.
1) Sawali Club
Address: 2/F, Wing Cheong Building, 18-20 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
2) New Bangkok Restaurant
Address: 366 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai