Tom Yum Soup! Yum!

I used a can of Aroy-D Tom Yum Soup to make a hot weather treat supplemented with tomatoes, cabbage, red onion, carrots, zucchini, chicken broth, jalapenos and lion’s mane mushrooms. Plus some chicken. I overcooked this by a few minutes, but better safe than sorry with raw chicken. The jalapenos were a mistake because they didn’t quite work but the mushrooms were incredible - after cooking they maintain their shape and their exotic tendrils. This brand of soup tastes much like the Tom Yum you’d get at a restaurant, with hints of galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves and there are no – like so much processed food for the Asian market – bad additives. Except for the salt. The salt content is 2600 milligrams per can! For comparison a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, which needs lots of salt to keep the dairy ingredients within shelf stable, contains 850 milligrams. Salt is flavor, as they say. Or something.

I noticed this decades ago: many of the items and especially the condiments you find at Asian supermarkets contain questionable ingredients. Laoganma’s Chili with Black Bean contains Monosodium Glutamate, but why? Fermented black beans have so much flavor there’s no need to use MSG. And given the salt content here is it really necessary to throw in Sulfur Dioxide and Sodium Sulfite? I’m not a fan of soy oil either.

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