Asian American Month – How Yu Make Thai Soup

How to make Seafood Soup Tye right way!

Step 1 – Call Ma (If she’s unavailable skip to Step 3)

Step 2 – Half listen to her directions.

Step 3 – Procure Ingredients

  • Have Leftovers? Toss it in!
  • Gather Mint from Garden ✓
  • Neighborhood Lemon Tree? 
  • Go Fishing!

Broth Ingredients 

  • Coconut Milk – I prefer Aroy Dee (tasty), 
  • Chicken Broth – (water also works)
  • Fish Sauce – Sacrilegious to leave out!
  • Curry Paste – Personally I prefer Red 👍👍
  • Galanga if available, if not Ginger works as well.
  • Lemon Grass – is highly recommended 

 

Example Extra Ingredients 

  • Bellpepper
  • Green Onions
  • Cilantro – This is what I’m traditionally used to!
  • Thai Basil
  • Limes or Lemons are a Must!!!
  • Mushrooms
  • Mint – Had them growing in the backyard!
  • Thai Chilis – Dad can’t eat them otherwise I would’ve added some.

As for Protein, I prefer to have a mix of Salmon, Shrimp, and Scallops, but for the most part anything works!

 

Step 4 – The most IMPORTANT step! Saute the Curry Paste!

Step 5 – Bring all the broth ingredients to a boil, then simmer. Sample and adjust proportions appropriately.

  • Ma always adds a little brown sugar (Secret Ingredient)
  • and Uncle Roger would probably add MSG around this point.

Step 6 – Add seafood, and any vegetables you want soft into the broth (except Shrimp! this only requires a few minutes to cook!)

  • Slow cook on low heat forever. The longer it sits the better! Determine wait times based on degree of hunger.

Step 7 – Approx 2 minutes before serving, add the shrimp and bring it back to a boil. 

  • Add diced Cilantro, Mint, Green Onions, Etc. for aesthetics and taste.
  • Serve with Rice or Noodles.
  • Ask for feedback to improve your skills!

Finally!  Step 8 – Continue adding ingredients to make it last forever!

Who are Yu?

Personally I’ve never really liked labels or titles, always felt they limited one’s character and capacity, probably the Daoist in me, but I will admit, they serve a purpose in allowing us to quantify our existence and environment.

Born in the City of Angels, just like my mother. I grew up with a multicultural upbringing in a time before dial up. Lucky enough to have had family trips across the world, which would vastly shape my worldview.

As a youth my Mae took me and my Sis to a Tye fortune teller, he went through a booklet of dates and times, and read our walks to determine our futures. Labeling me a Sleepy Tiger, he told me to start my days early. Going on to tell my mom that I wouldn’t get serious about school till I was 24; So to defy fate, I waited till I was 26. He also told me to go after older women, so I’ve always gone for younger. Much to my chagrin.

Growing up in L.A. I became quite accustomed to Hispanic culture, as many of my friends had immigrated from Latin America. I feel more comfortable pacifico in hand at a Quinceañera, or Spanish Wedding than I do most other social engagements. I was an Eagle Scout, a Martial Arts Instructor, Photographer, and World Traveler all in my teens. For this plethora of life experiences, I have much thanks to give my parents. 

Now if our identities are formed through the experiences we have and models we follow. I was in part, shaped by the stories of my mother. Born in S.E. Asia’s City of Angels she experienced a very different upbringing. Poor and Hungry would be the sum of it. I recall stories of her making makeshift drums out of frog skin, and stealing food from monkeys. And don’t forget how she came here with only $30 dollars in her pocket!, and how lucky we are to have food on our plates! I remember our constant horror at the threat that if we didn’t finish the food on our plates she’d scramble them on our heads, so bowls were licked clean, and bones down to the marrow. I’ll never tell her of all the food I’ve thrown out working in the food industry. But from all these stories I realized how fortunate I was to have experienced her hardships second hand.

My mother’s land of Tyeland. The Italy of Asia. Similar historically as a region of city-states, geographically as a peninsula, and economically as a navel of maritime trade. Bangkok is also referred to as the Venice of Asia paying homage to the many canals that permeate the city. These were the roadways of old, the arteries of society that created the famous floating markets throughout S.E.Asia. A case can easily be made that waterways were once the lifeblood of S.E.Asians. Playing a role in rice cultivation, shrimp farming, transportation, mythology, and festivals; Water has played a large role in shaping the identity and culture of S.E.Asians.

In my mom’s time television had spread western culture globally, similar in fashion to how the internet has connected us today. She already had a basic understanding of English before she even came here, and enjoyed the Beach Boys, Beatles and Rolling Stones. Tyes have historically favored foreign influence, and have simultaneously shared their culture abroad. Last I checked they still love American culture, Freedom, Harleys, Guns, and Rock and Roll!

Many Tye’s like my mom are American at heart!

So when asked who I am. I acknowledge my heritage, upbringing, and experiences, but look towards Bruce Lee for inspiration. 

Be formless, shapeless, like Water!  

Or as Jackie Chan would put it Wa Chala Na Yoro!

 

Sleepy Yulan สูงเนิน Havliček

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