Tom Kha Kai-Coconut Soup
We have been so busy at Thai Fresh I can hardly find time to post. Things are going well for us and we are so grateful for all the support we get from the community. The neighborhood around us have been so supportive. I just love seeing people strolling along with their babies and stop over at Thai Fresh on the way home or make Thai Fresh a destination for their walk of the evening. Then the press, first we were reviewed in the Statesman, Edible Austin and then the Chronicle.Thank you for all the great reviews.
I have to post this requested recipe, Tom Kha Kai. A lot of people have come in to the store looking for ingredients to make Tom Kha, more than any other dishes. This is a very simple dish if you have all the ingredients. If you are missing one of the herbs, it will be alright, you will still be making delicious Tom Kha. I always forgot how good this dish is until I tasted one that I made for the restaurant or one that was made in class and I always had the same reaction to it, "what a perfect Thai dish."
This soup has all the flavors in Thai cooking; sweet, salty, sour, spicy and bitter. It is a perfect balance of all the flavors that exist. That is why this is a world renowned soup, it is hard not to love the flavor of Tom Kha.
In Thailand, we eat Tom Kha as an entree. We put it over rice most of the time. You can adjust your recipe to your liking regarding the creaminess of the soup. You can add more or less water/stock to the soup depending on how creamy and heavy you would like your soup to be. You can also adjust the level of spice by adding or subtracting the number of chillies you use. As all Thai cooks say, "adjust to your preferred taste." Enjoy it on winterly days, hot summer days, in your pajamas while sitting on the porch or that big dinner that you cook for friend and family.
Coconut soup w/ chicken
2 cups water or chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon palm sugar (any brand would do) or white sugar
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 to 11/2 inch long, use the whole stock up to the leaves
1 Thai chili
8 slices galangal
3 kaffir lime leaves
8 oz chicken breast or tofu or shrimp or salmon
5 oz oyster mushroom/artichoke hearts/hearts of palm/banana blossom, cut into bite size
3 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lime juices
2 tsp minced Thai chillies
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped, not minced
In a pot, combine stock with coconut milk. Bring to boil. Bruise lemongrass, shallots, and 1 Thai chili using a pestle or back of the knife. Add Thai chili and shallot along with galangal and lime leaves to boiling stock. Simmer for a few minutes, and then add chicken and mushrooms, turn down the heat and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and sugar. In a serving bowl, mix fish sauce, lime juice, minced Thai chillies and cilantro. Add to the hot soup, stir and check seasoning. It should be rich, salty, sour and hot.