From Marnie Henricksson's Everyday Asian, one of my favorite cookbooks:
"Lemongrass Soup with Shrimp, Tomato and Straw Mushrooms"
"Called tom yum kung in Thailand or canh chua tom in Vietnam, this is the fiery, hot and sour soup of Southeast Asia. I have it in every Thai or Vietnamese restaurant I visit in hopes of re-creating the experience of one fragrant bowl I had on the Thai island of Phuket, sitting on the beach, watching the sunset as tears streamed down my cheeks. It was all very beautiful, but the tears were, in fact, from the chiles. Even so, I couldn't stop eating that soup."
If you've seen the news lately, you know that Phuket, along with many other places around the Indian Ocean, has been devastated by the tsunamis from the 9.0 earthquake near Sumatra. I've never been anywhere near southeast Asia, but somehow, occasionally cooking Thai food makes Phuket more than a mere name on a map to me. I find myself thinking of noodle sellers and fishermen in these hard-hit coastal regions. The footage on the news is horrible.
Thanks to Il Forno, I discovered this blog that is tracking tsunami news and the relief effort. Please consider helping out in whatever way you can.