Dec 28, 2008

Meals, Day 11: Tom Kha Gai soup.

Had this at a party recently and it was soooooo delicious I had to try making it at home. I didn't realize, though, it had chicken in it, until today when I looked up recipes for it online! ... I don't think accidental ingestion of meat should count against me in my resolve. But now I know I like it, and I can vegetarianize it for my family pretty easily, too.

Here's the original recipe:

1 whole chicken breast
2 chicken thighs
1/2 pound of cleaned shrimp (optional)
4 stalks fresh lemongrass
4 1/2 cups coconut milk (NOT coconut cream)
1 1/2 cups basic chicken stock
20 quarter-sized slices fresh galanga (fresh ginger makes a fine substitute)
10 whole black peppercorns
12 fresh wild lime leaves (available at Asian markets; if unavailable, substitute the grated peel of 1 lime)
1 cup well-drained, whole canned straw mushrooms, halved lengthwise (sliced fresh button mushrooms work fine too)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Here's the recipe "nosurf-ized" (made simple, no chicken, and less expensive)

1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1/2 tbs powdered fish broth
1 can coconut milk
1/2 onion, cut into long, thin strips and sauteed until soft
2 drops lemongrass essential oil (you're supposed to use real lemongrass stems, as you'll see in the recipe above... get those at an asian grocery or asian foods market)

I didn't have any of the other ingredients at hand and so I added some salt and soy sauce for a little bit of flavoring. If I had the option though, I think I'd use the lime juice and try to hunt down lime leaves during my weekly trip to the asian food market. I also would go ahead and put in the mushrooms, but I didn't have any fresh.

You serve it with white rice, adding a little bit to the soup when you serve yourself.

So, it turned out pretty good, mad crazy substitutions notwithstanding! Me: **** out of **** stars. Skywalker: still at church doing his calling, so the vote's still out on that one. Kids: *** and a half out of **** stars. :)

Seriously guys. It sounds weird but this soup is sooooo good.

1 comment:

Megan said...

My husband served his mission in Thailand and this is my absolute favorite Thai dish. You can also add eggplant if you like that (I can't stand it!) :) I've also had it with tomatoes, baby corn, or bell peppers. Really, you can add whatever you want, as long as you get the sauce part of the soup right. And you can also go to an asian foods market and buy a tom kha paste(gai means chicken). I'm glad you liked it!