Inspired by tom yam khai pla, this Thai-inspired fish roe soup is similar to the Filipino sinigang but with deeper flavors and aroma because of the inclusion of lemongrass, holy basil and kaffir lime leaves (all picked from my garden) among the ingredients. The citrusy notes were all over and they were spectacular.
Traditional tom yam khai pla recipes call for slices of fresh galangal, a root crop that looks similar to ginger but tastes nothing like ginger. I didn’t have fresh galangal but only minced galangal in a jar. Taking a risk, I decided to substitute fresh ginger. I’m sure that the citrusy flavor and aroma would have been more pronounced had I used fresh galangal but, overall, the result was gorgeous as the spicy ginger made the addition of chilis superfluous. My fish roe soup was mildly spicy, citrusy and just delicious.
- 300 to 400 grams fish roe in sacs - I used tuna roe which were about eight inches long and two-and-a-half inches wide so I cut them into smaller portions
- 1/2 cup tamarind juice
- 1 thumb-sized piece ginger - cut into thin rings
- 3 stalks lemongrass - light-colored portions near the roots only, cut into two-inch lengths and pounded lightly
- patis (fish sauce) - to taste
- 2 kaffir lime leaves - torn
- 1 handful holy basil
- Fill a pot with six cups of water. Add the tamarind juice, lemongrass and ginger. Bring to the boil.
- Add the fish roe and allow to reach boiling point once more. Once the broth boils, the fish roes is done (DO NOT OVERCOOK!). Turn off the heat.
- Add the torn kaffir lime leaves and the holy basil. Season with fish sauce.
- Cover the pot for five to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
- Ladle the delicious Thai-inspired fish roe soup into bowls and serve hot.
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