Jeh O Chula , a Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, is one of the most popular supper spots in Bangkok. Their signature dish? A luxurious bowl of Tom Yum Mama Noodles brimming with a variety of toppings.
Yes, we're still stuck in Malaysia due to The Rona so a trip to Jeh O is just not possible. Instead, I'll try making my own version of their signature dish! While it's essentially just instant noodles with extra toppings, it's still a tricky dish to prepare. There's no official recipe online for their tom yum broth and the seafood needs to be poached with care.
**If you're a relatively new cook who is planning to attempt this, make sure you have an hour to spare and be prepared to season, taste and repeat.
Tom Yum Mama Noodles
Serves: 3-4 pax
Cook & Prep Time: 45 minutes
Tom Yum Mama Instant Noodles (3 packs)
Thai Tom Yum Paste (any brand you prefer, I like Nang Fah)
3 stalks of lemongrass
4-5 thick slices of galangal
5-6 Kaffir lime leaves
1 large lime
4-5 stalks of spring onion
Bird's eye chillies (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
3-5 tablespoons of coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons of Fish sauce
Salt, sugar & pepper to taste
2 medium squid
6 large prawns
100g of minced pork
3 baby corn
3 pasteurised eggs
Other popular toppings include fish slices, roast pork, and assorted steamboat ingredients such as pork balls, fish balls, seafood tofu, etc. Get creative or resourceful with your toppings!
Cooking Directions : 1. Clean & cut the squid into bite-sized pieces. Peel prawn heads & shells (tails left on) and devein the prawns. Reserve the prawn heads & shells.
2. Marinate the pork mince with a touch of salt, pepper and soy sauce. Roughly form 5-6 pork balls.
3. Cut baby corn lengthwise. Cut white ends of spring onion into 5cm lengths and cut the green ends for garnish. Thinly slice half of the lime, and reserve the other half for the juicing.
4. Remove any dried-out layers of the lemongrass and bruise/pound the stalks to release flavour. Bruise/tear kaffir lime leaves.
5. In a wide & flat pot, boil 700ml of water and prawn head & shells over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes. Press the prawn heads with a spoon to release more flavours. Remove prawn heads & shells.
6. Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Mama noodles seasoning packs, and 1 tablespoon of tom yum paste. Bring it to a boil and turn the heat to low. Also, add chillies here if you want it extra spicy - I only added 3 as I find this tom yum paste quite spicy on its own.
7. In another small pot, bring 200ml of water to a gentle boil - we'll be poaching our toppings here. Start with the pork balls. As my water didn't cover it fully, I let it boil for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove & set aside once no longer pink in the centre.
When poaching the seafood, pay attention to your heat and don't let it come to a rolling boil. Otherwise, the seafood might end up tough and rubbery!
Add in prawns and cook for around 2-4 minutes. It's ready once the meat turns white and the tails are reddish.
Lastly, add in the squid. It's ready once the flesh turns firm and white - mine took around 2 minutes.
9. Pour all the poaching liquid into the tom yum and turn the heat back to medium. Add baby corn, spring onion lengths, and noodles. Add coconut milk and fish sauce - you can vary the amount to your preference. Season with a touch of salt, sugar and pepper to taste. Squeeze in half the lime.
9. Once the noodles are al dente, turn off the heat and arrange all your toppings!
Ready to serve!
I served it two ways, one in a bowl and another in the pot. I don't own a gigantic metal bowl like the one they use at Jeh O....so my pot was the next best option!
The dish came out really good! You can imagine the depth of flavours in the tom yum from all the aromatics and proteins used. The toppings were just cooked and the broth was creamy, spicy and sour - a "syiok" bowl of tom yum!
Personally, I enjoyed it more when served in the pot. There's just something more exciting about large portions of food, like having a big pot of steamboat as opposed to individual pots. Maybe I should invest in a large metal bowl since I'll definitely be making this again.
Edit: Made it again and this time it's served in a large metal bowl! Also added some mushrooms, small prawns & roasted pork as we're feeling extra fancy. Oh, and buying large eggs really helps - just look at the stunning yolks!
Till the next cook, stay safe & makan well!