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Tom Kha Gai
(recipe, Gary Knopke)
One of my favorite items on any Thai menu, this is a chicken and coconut milk soup, flavored with galangal and lemon grass. I usually eat this as a main dish, over rice, but it can certainly be served as an appetizer.
- 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 0.5 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups oyster mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup galangal, sliced
- 5 shallots, crushed
- 1 stalk lemon grass, sliced
- 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
- ¼ cup fresh Thai basil, torn into pieces (save a few for garnish)
- 10 dried chillies, crushed
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce
- ½ tsp. salt
- In a sauce pan, over medium high heat, bring the coconut milk and chicken stock to a boil. Turn down the heat to a fast simmer, and make sure it doesn’t boil over.
- Add the galangal, lemon grass, shallots, chilies, and lime leaves – 5 minutes.
- Salt the chicken, add it to the mix, and simmer until the chicken is cooked – 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms – 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut cream, and, when the soup returns to a boil, turn off the heat, add the basil, fish sauce and lime juice.
- The galangal and lemongrass can be removed, as they are usually too fibrous to eat.
- Garnish with a few fresh whole Thai basil leaves