This is a classic found in Thai restaurants. Once you have the ingredients it’s fairly simple to combine. I put it into the category of an infusion as it’s almost like making tea. You add all the ingredients together and add the chicken and mushrooms. I like to keep the lemongrass pieces in when serving. People unfamiliar with them might need to be told not to chew and swallow. The same for the ginger though you can chew and swallow. You can make this soup as spicy as you like or not at all.
CHICKEN COCONUT SOUP (Tom Kha Gai)
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
13.5 oz chicken broth or water
1 lemongrass stalk, cut in 1-inch pieces
6 thin slices fresh ginger or galangal
¼-1/2 pound boneless/skinless chicken, breast or thigh, bite-sized pieces
1 cup white or shiitake mushrooms, thin sliced
1 zest of one lime or 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla), or more to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon red Thai chili paste, or more to taste
1 small red or green Thai chilies or 1 jalapeno, thin sliced diagonally, seeds removed
1 green onion, thin sliced
fresh cilantro leaves
|Lemongrass: bottom one is peeled of the outer stalk.|
|Array of ingredients: Cut lemongrass, cut mushrooms, fish sauce, |
Thai red chili paste, sugar, cilantro
|Don't forget the ginger!|
|Two Thai red chilis sliced diagonally, seeds removed.|
|Add a can of Coconut Milk and water to a saucepan.|
|Whisk the Coconut Milk and water together while gently heating.|
Combine and stir the coconut milk and broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the lemongrass and ginger. Infuse for about a minute.
Add the lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, chili paste and mix well. Let infuse for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and chicken. Poach for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add the Thai chilis. Add a pinch of salt. Taste to see if it needs more salt or chili!
Serve garnished with the green onion and fresh cilantro leaves.
To make a heartier soup add vegetables like zucchini or carrots that are thinly sliced. Or add cellophane rice noodles that have been soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes. Or, serve with a side of brown or jasmine rice.
|Soup with lemongrass and ginger added.|
|Stir the soup.|
|Add the lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili paste. |
Then add the mushrooms.
|Add the chicken meat (or turkey) to poach.|
|Finished soup, garnished with cilantro leaves and lemongrass.|