Ready to put on your chef’s hat? In follow up to my most recent Food Star of the Week post on Coconut, check out this super, yummy Thai Coconut Chicken soup recipe, or otherwise known as “Tom Kha Gai”. Seek out your local health food or thai grocery to find the unique ingredients listed below…trust me, its worth the effort and time! This recipe is also perfect for colder weather and as with most thai dishes, you can control the level of “heat”…some like it HOT! Lastly, you can easily turn this into a vegetarian recipe by using vegetable stock and eliminating the shredded chicken.
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, cracked open with the flat side of a knife
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried, hand torn
- 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 small Thai chilies, halved lengthwise
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (I suggest the full-fat version versus the lite)
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 5 drops of Stevia
- 1 (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinsed
- 4 limes, juiced
- 1 bunch thai basil, lightly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilies, and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.
Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce (do not skip the fish sauce), stevia, mushrooms, lime juice, and pre-cooked, shredded chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through; season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger or lime leaves. as these are used primarily for flavor! Serve with brown rice if you like.
Couple of pointers: I mix this recipe up form time to time by adding in either red or green curry paste, which adds even more flavor! You can measure the amount of paste based upon how spicy you want your soup. Also, aside from the kaffir lime leaves, all ingredients should be fresh…making this soup with dried basil or ginger powder will not achieve the same result.