This classic chicken and coconut soup gets its rich and dynamic flavor from quintessential Thai ingredients: coconut milk, lemongrass, fresh ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, chile paste, basil, and cilantro. While warming and thoroughly comforting, this dish comes together incredibly quickly. Of course, it's even better the next day after the flavors have had time to rest and fully meld within the thick and satisfying, savory-sweet broth. Just saying--doubling this recipe to guarantee leftovers wouldn't be a terrible idea.
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-in. pieces
1 pound boned, skinned chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Thai chili paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is firm and opaque, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Garnish servings with basil and cilantro.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.
A tom kha gai soup must have galangal in it. That's what the name is about. Kha in Thai means galangal. This recipe also lack of a very important ingredient - lime leave! For a real taste and flavor, you must make a trip to the Asian shop. Galangal, lemongrass, lime leave and bird eye chili all freeze well. You can store them in the freezer for future use. For better flavor - 2 stick of lemongrass,(use only the white part) cut and CRUSHED. 5 lime leave, torn. 4 tbsp fresh lime juice, 2 bird eye chili, crushed. 3 tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp fish sauce - I think this is better for the two cans of liquid(coconut milk and broth)
We tried this. Used powdered ginger, and only had a lemon, but turned out fabulous! Did saute a small amount of onions for extra texture. Put over clear noodles!!!! Us is a bi-weekly dish in our house now.
...of chicken stock, coconut milk and lemon juice that makes this a great classic. Because they all work together, what's added after that can vary quite a lot. For example, I add 1/2 of a thinly sliced hot red chili with the seeds removed, brown sugar instead of white, sesame oil & soy sauce. And I like to let it simmer for hours so the flavours blend very well (it's 8:40 a.m. now in the UK and I have it on the stove for today's main meal at noon). I'll drop in the cubed chicken, mushrooms and baby corn during the last hour so they don't disintegrate but the red & yellow bell peppers, lemon grass, ginger and chili are already in there...dancing together while it simmers. We absolutely love this recipe and will have it on this foggy Sunday with potstickers and Vietnamese summer rolls and spicy peanut sauce.
Excellent version of a classic recipe. I had home made stock, but otherwise made this pretty much as written other than using galangal instead of yellow ginger. I think I probably doubled the fish sauce, now that I think about it. Served with coconut brown basmati rice it made a wonderful, light dinner. I'll definitely make this one again.
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