Soup week: Day 4. Soup doesn’t have to be hard to prepare. This time we are going to try something from a neighbor country, Thailand. They have a lot of great dishes and if it is about soup, they do have a lot to offer like this soup called Tom Kha Gai.
This dish is a Thai hot and sour soup made out of coconut milk, chicken, galangal, lemon grass and mushroom. Literally, Tom Kha Gai means “boiled galangal chicken” when directly translated. I guess it was named perfectly as galangal is the dominant flavour in this dish. Galangal for those who doesn’t have an idea looks like a ginger but reddish brown in colour. It is related to ginger but taste different as it is commonly described as pungent, peppery and floral. Tom Kha Gai has a very unique twist in flavour since it’s partly creamy, spicy, sweet, sour, smoky, hot and savoury, all at once; which would leave your taste buds asking for more! You will never turn out your chicken soup the same twice again!
600g chicken breast, sliced
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut cream
4 pcs long tamarind, wrapped in muslin cloth
3 stalks lemongrass, white part
4 pcs kaffir limes leaves
1 1/2 cup straw mushrooms, cut in half
1 thumb size galangal, cut into 4 pieces
3 pcs dried chili, chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
handful fresh coriander leaves
handful fresh basil leaves
fish sauce or sea salt, according to taste
1. Pour in chicken stock in a pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling add chicken, galangal, mushrooms, lemon grass, kaffir, chilli and tamarind. Simmer for 8 minutes. Press muslin cloth with tamarind on top of the pot to extract the juices then discard.
2. Add coconut cream, fish sauce, sugar and simmer for another 2 minutes.
3. Place in bowls then top with basil and coriander.