For Nic's first meal back in Australia I thought something Asian and spicy would do the trick. He was tired, jet lagged and not up for much so a quick easy meal was just the ticket. The boys ate earlier (actually Alex ate and Max slept-no fun having tonsilitis!) so I was free to dress it up as much as I liked.
To my delight our seafood shop had a great big sign in the window saying 'fresh squid'. I picked one up along with a few big prawns and headed to my Asian groccer for a bottle of quick and easy tom yum paste, a bag of fish balls, some tofu puffs, and noodles. For me going into this shop is like my kids walking into a toy store. I stroll up and down the aisles for hours and always come out with so much more than I really need (you can never have too many bottles of fish sauce or too many different varities of chilli paste!)
Back at home the water was running for the kids bath while Nic was trying desperately to stay awake, I followed the directions on my bottle of paste (2 spoonfuls of paste to 3 cups of boiling water) of course I always add more and then start adding my frozen fish balls along with the delicious shitaki mushrooms I picked up. I left the stock to simmer for 5 minutes while I cleaned and scored the squid and talked Alex out of the bath and into his P.J's then headed back into the kitchen to finish the meal.
Not much to do really but keep on adding to the broth. Tofu puffs go in so they can soak up the flavour along with some straw mushrooms (I just LOVE the texture of these little ones) and some English spinach leaves ( I know this isn't very Asian but I had a craving and thought it would be totally fine). About 3 minutes before I served the soup I added the squid and prawns, turned the heat off and then went about building my creation......
Noodles get doused in boiling water for a few minutes, strained then popped into serving bowls (I fill and boil the kettle then pour boiling water over the noodles and leave them for 5 minutes before straining).
Once noodles are added I scoop out the bulk ingredients from the broth and divide evenly between bowls (much easier to see we are getting the exact amount of seafood because I hate to miss out!)
Once served and portioned I then pour over the hot and sour broth and finish the meal with sliced scallions and chopped coriander (cilantro).
The Tom Yum was delicious, Nic was excited to have something other than pasta and I was ecstatic it only took me 25 minutes to throw together. I could make this for the kids I guess but I think I will save this one for when they are older and a little more adventurous and able to run their own bath!