Last night I tried out another new recipe. We bought some lemongrass awhile ago, and I have been meaning to try to make Tom Yum. I searched around the internet and found a variety of different vegetarian versions. Many of them included coconut milk, which is usually only found in Tom Kha. From what I read, it seemed like Tom Yum without fish sauce would not be very tasty. So I ultimately decided to do a bit of a mixture of the two. I boiled some lemongrass and ginger in 8 cups of water for about 30 minutes, along with some vegetable bouillon cubes and a couple teaspoons of some vegetarian tom yum paste I bought at the Asian store, which had some spices like galangal and chili. I fried up some tofu cubes (I like them better fried), and cut up some red pepper, carrots, green onions, and thai basil, which I cooked for about 10 minutes in the soup. At the end I added a can of coconut milk, a can of straw mushrooms and the juice from one lime.
One weird thing was that the straw mushrooms I bought were “unpeeled”. At first they looked different than what I was expecting. It turns out that the mushroom cap is kind of hidden under another layer, as you can see from the picture here.