From the Kitchen – off to warmer climes in my mind, tom kha gai

tomkhagaiWhee, it’s snowing again here in PA. 😛 I wanted to try to make a soup, so I got out my copy of Wright’s The Best Soups in the World, and tried to find something I had most of the ingredients for.   As luck would have it, I had most of the ingredients for tom kha gai, Thai coconut chicken curry soup. You can guess how odd my pantry is in that I had everything except lemongrass.

My recipe is a riff on the one I found in the cook book. To us, it tastes very much like what we get at our local Thai restaurants.

¾ pound of chicken thigh meat, all fat, skin and bone removed, sliced thin

5 cups of coconut milk (I made mine from Chao Thai coconut cream powder, made up as 3 tbsp to one cup of warm water. BTW, I get my Thai ingredients from importfoods.com)

8 thin slices of ginger (I had no galangal and it’s hard to get around here. I keep my ginger root in the freezer and slice or grate when needed.)

6 tbsp of fish sauce. (This stuff is salty. What I made today had 10 tbsp and it was right on the edge of being too salty even for me, the salt monster. Ten may be perfect for a very hot and very humid climate.)

4 tbsp palm sugar (this has a different taste than regular cane sugar, and I recommend getting it)

4 stalks of lemongrass (I used Gourmet Garden’s squirt tube of lemongrass paste, 4 tbsp of it. I love these little tubes. They last a very long time.)

1 tbsp grated lime zest (the recipe calls for kaffir lime leaves but again, they are hard to get here.)

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

1 tbsp red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand.)

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

Mix coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and lime zest. Bring to boil. This stuff will boil over quickly, so keep an eye on it. Reduce to medium, and add chicken, fish sauce and sugar.   Cook until chicken cooked through.

Add lime juice, and curry paste and stir to combine. Serve. If you like cilantro, I find it a very nice addition. The recipe in the book had adding crushed fresh thai or Serrano chilies. For me, the red curry paste is hot enough to make my nose run plenty. Of course, any of these ingredients can be varied in amount to suit your tastes. I think it would be good with shrimp, firm tofu, pork, etc.

We also made a classic roast beef dinner. Lots of leftovers for the week!

Eat well!

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