Tom Yum Tuna Fried Rice

Tom Yum..A flavor that screams Thai Gastronomy culturally ..Conceived out of Thai cuisine, tom yum originally was and is more famous as a tom yum soup A spicy, tangy taste that is so captivating ,a distinct hot and sour flavor that is, blended into a soup most commonly, infused with oriental spices of galangal, kafir leaves and lemon grass..And my first brush with this flavor was decades back on my holiday with a friend to Kualalampur..Its was my first visit to this beautiful city of twin towers, and me and Archana, were on a fun trip, an all girls trip.While we stayed at our friend”s place at KL, it was fascinating for us to be able to walk down the street, fill our grocery bags and cook up a meal at home, while our friend and his wife went  for work.. We cooked,ate, slept and roamed around the city in leisure,discovering the city, its beauty and  culture . It was a total relaxing trip i must say.With a super market below, that was the first time my hands lay on Tom Yum flavored maggi.  Stocks of  Maggi were stacked across the shelves in the super market..I was surprised to see Maggi in Malaysia. Maagi has been common fodder for evening hunger pangs in my growing up years . And am sure  everyone of my generation would resonate with Maggi noodles, for that was the only instant noodles that existed then.And ,yes, Maggi in KL had a different flavor..TOM YUM.. What is tom yum ??Intrigued, i filled my bag and that was the first time, i tasted tom yum at bhasker”s place.An instant liking is what i remember connected me to this flavor .Soon, wherever we went, across food joints, tom yum was the most common flavor amongst meals, be it a soup, or a gravy ,every dish almost could be made with tom yum paste..So that was how my love for tom yum was born.

A little more on Tom Yum, it originated as a soup, with prawns, fish and chicken and has different various now.In neighboring countries of malaysia, singapore and indonesia it is made a little differently with different spices and herbs added to it as we discovered in Malaysia..But basically the tom yum paste remains constant with addition of other spices. From here, i guess tom yum , blends itself as a paste and shows off its personality in curies and gravys too, coz of its distinctly unique taste. In fact tom yum paste is used as an exquisite marinade for fish and other sea food and creative recipes like my fried rice. Slather your chicken, fish, or even pork into this flavor popping marinade and either pan fry, grill or stir fry

So while I closed my business meeting at the patisserie situated at the  Trident  the other day, my eyes peeked through the lightly decorated shelves that adorned itself with unsual flavorings of cashewnuts and some canned tom yum tuna fillets.Tuna by far has always been my favorite sea fish, and tom yum to eat would be an incredible combo.

So that’s how this dish was born, rice or noodles, tom yum is amazingly tasty, spicy, tangy with the flavor of lemon grass and kafir leaves so overpowering, its got a fiery taste and an undertone of galangal and fish sauce.

I used the readymade canned  tom yum tuna, hence this is a quikfire recipe, but for making the actual tom yum paste at home, you could note down my version of the tom yum paste.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • lemongrass stalks
  • 2inch piece fresh root ginger/galangal
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, stems only (reserve leaves for garnish)
  • 2 small bird’s eye chillies
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 tsp piece palm sugar
  • 50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
  • pinch salt
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    shrimp paste(optional)-1 tbsp
    Blend all the ingredients.In a wok  add oil,  fry the mixture for a few secs and pour in the little fish sauce.This is your tom yum paste.. You can store this and use as a marinade for various seafood dishes
    Tom Yum Tuna fried rice
    Tom yum tuna (canned)- half a can
    Boiled rice-1 1/2 cups
    salt- as per taste
    Cabbage-1/4th cup
    Black pepper- 1/2 tsp


In a  wok, add oil and when smoking hot, add the garlic , fry and add the cabbage and capsicum. Now add boiled rice.Now put in the tom yum tuna ,fry for a while.Add additional soya sauce if you like and its ready to be savored

The flavor of the soup infused into a bed of rice, converted into a one pot meal with the sweetness of the meaty tuna flakes..The fiery chilly makes a strong appearance that which is complimented so well by the galangal and lime cutting it down to a tangy taste .Really sometimes , a mix of taste and flavors do wonders to your taste..This is one such recipe..A recipe that sings with authentic thai taste .. Incredibly, fiery with the undertone of bird”s chillies, tangy, and lemony, this is by far my favorite blend of oriental mix of flavors blended into a wholesome meal.

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