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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise



Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.


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Recipe - Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Kung)
by Wen Zientek-Sico

Perhaps the single dish Thai cuisine is best known for the world over, this soup is a perfect example of the wonderful blend of traditional Thai flavors and ingredients. A mixture of sweet, salty, sour, and hot flavors it is one of my most favorite foods. This recipe is perfectly scaled to make two reasonably sized servings. Try it plain or spooned over rice for a side dish.

James Blakeway - Frankfurt Germany
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Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Kung)

Perhaps the single dish Thai cuisine is best known for the world over, this soup is a perfect example of the wonderful blend of traditional Thai flavors and ingredients. A mixture of sweet, salty, sour, and hot flavors it is one of my most favorite foods. This recipe is perfectly scaled to make two reasonably sized servings. Try it plain or spooned over rice for a side dish.

2 cups chicken broth
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 teaspoons chili-tamarind paste (nam prik pao)
1/3 pound medium shrimp
3 ounces sliced oyster or white mushrooms
2 Thai bird chiles or serrano chiles
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Combine the chicken broth, garlic, lemongrass, and lime zest in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for two minutes. Whisk in the lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, and chili-tamarind paste until smooth. Add the shrimp, mushrooms, and chiles and simmer gently until the shrimp are cooked through, about two minutes. Add the cilantro and serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes