I first taste Po Taek (Po Tak) about 6 years ago at one of Thai restaurants in Winnipeg. I totally felt in love right away with the lightness and spiciness of Po Taek or Po Tak. Tom Yum is very common soup to find at local Thai restaurants in town but based on my experience I only can find in that restaurant.
One day, I was talking about Po Taek (Po Tak) with a friend who lives in Connecticut, US. She was mentioned another person that she might be able to share a recipe of Po Taek (Po Tak) since she is married to a Thai and loves to cook as well. Both of them are my vivid readers. I finally managed to get what ingredients that I need to make Po Tak after 6 years I first tasted it. Thanks to both of you, Aya and Asty!
Updated on May 28, 2013. I finally know that Tom Yum Po Taek (Po Tak) is the Laotian name for Tom Yum Thale. Due to most Thai restaurants are owned by Laotian in Canada, the name of Po Taek or Po Tak is being used or more popular than Tom Yum Thale.
This soup is a lighter version of tom yum. I found it’s more refreshing yet yummy and spicy. It has the same basic tom yum but with no Thai chili paste (Nam-prik Pao), instead Po Taek (Po Tak) is enhanced by green chilies (Phrik Khee Nuu).
I still used the basic recipe of my Tom Yum Goong post.
This recipe goes for Masbar event with a theme Aneka Hidangan Berkuah (or Soupy Dish)
Tom Yum Po Taek (Po Tak) – Tom Yum Thale
– Lao Thai Spicy and Sour Seafood Soup –
100 grams (3.5 oz) green mussel, cleaned
100 grams (3.5 oz) manila or littleneck clams, cleaned
100 grams (3.5 oz) frozen calamari rings
400 grams (14 oz) freshwater prawns (Indonesian: udang galah), it’s about 4 pieces
200 grams (7 oz) softshell crabs
6 cups water
one big handful of kaffir lime leaves
3 lemongrass, discard the outer layers and cut to 5-centimeters or 2-inches pieces
4-centimeters (1.6-inches) long (2-centimeters/0.8 inch diameter) galangal, peeled and thick sliced
juice from 3 limes (in this recipe I used 6-7 calamansis), you may need more
¼ cup Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)
green chilies (Phrik Khee Nuu), as many as you can handle the spiciness
Preparation to make the stock:
1. Rinse all prawns and softshell crabs.
2. Peel the heads and shells of 2 prawns, reserve them.
3. Squeeze the fat out from the heads and reserve in a separate bowl.
4. Combine 2 headless and skinless prawns with 2 other full body prawns in another separate bowl.
5. Halve soft shell crabs.
Make the Stock:
1. Heat the prawn shells, heads, and halved soft shell crabs in a pot with the water.
2. Bruise the kaffir lime leaves and smash the lemongrass and galangal a bit and throw them into the pot.
3. Reserve a few kaffir lime leaves, a slice or two of galangal, and some lemongrass for the soup later.
4. After the water come to a full boil, lower the heat to simmer and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Strain, crush the shells and heads well to squeeze all the delicious taste from them.
1. Heat the stock to a boil, add the full body prawns for 6 minutes. In the next 6 minutes,
2. Add the headless and skinless prawns, prawn fat, and the rest of the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass.
3. Add green mussels, clams, and squids. Cook for the next 4 minutes or until all ingredients cooked. When the prawns are just done (take care not to overcook the prawns), turn the heat off. Season with fish sauce, lime juice, crushed green chilies, and Thai basil.
* Feel free to add mushroom or whitefish fillet or other kinds of seafood.
* Throw extra whole chillies, so you can smash them up if you like hotter taste. In case, you serve for other people, this way everyone can control the heat. The taste should be sour, salty, hot.
* If you don’t have time to make your own homemade seafood stock, you can always use a mix of water and clam juice or vegetarian broth. Clam juice is sold in a bottle and very common to be found in any Canada’s grocery store.