Tom Yum at La Ong Thai Bistro

Two Saturdays ago, I awakened with a fierce craving for something that tasted bold. Way bold. My mind jumped to La Ong Bistro in Reston, Va., a place which I’ve actually blogged about before.

But aside from the rockin’ pumpkin curry and delectable dessert, they also serve a bowl of Tom Yum soup that’ll kick you in the face. But in a good way, if ever such a way existed.

Tom Yum is a Thai/Laotian soup that’s spicy and sour. I’ve only ever had it in Thai restaurants, and the soup is almost always served with shrimp (then called Tom Yum Goong), but I’ve seen it served with chicken, and in La Ong’s case, you get to pick what you want put in it.

Being infused with lemongrass and galangal (though they might substitute ginger), the broth is so aromatic. Copious amounts of lime juice makes it very sour, and more than a few splashes of fish sauce bring a musky tang to it, too.

The veggies in the soup–button mushrooms and cherry tomatoes–are fresh, and it’s topped off with cilantro. It always does the trick.

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