Thai-style Chicken Coconut Soup with Lemon & Lime
"Tom-kha-gai" roughly translates to "soup-galangal-chicken." Galangal is a root similar to ginger. Other ingredients of a true Tom kha gai include Keffir lime leaves and lemon grass.
There are many more-authentic recipes for Tom Kha Gai on the Web and it is from these I got my inspiration.
3 to 4 cchicken broth (preferably homemade to avoid a too-salty soup)
1 bunchfine rice noodles, ramen noodles or vermicelli
1 can(s)straw mushrooms, drained and cut in half (other canned or thinly sliced raw mushrooms may be substituted)
1/2 cred bell pepper, julienned
1 mediumlemon, juice only (optionally add the zest)
1 mediumlime, juice only (optionally add the zest but this can be bitter)
8 ozcooked chicken, roughly chopped
1 Tbspthai fish sauce (nam pla, sometimes called thai seasoning sauce)
2 to 3 dash(es)tabasco (as a substitute for thai chiles)
1 to 2 Tbspgrated fresh ginger
1 can(s)coconut milk, unsweetened (light okay)
1 to 2 Tbspbrown sugar (if needed to adjust tartness)
2 cfresh spinach, basil or cilantro, coarsely chopped
How to Make Thai-style Chicken Coconut Soup with Lemon & Lime
- In a medium soup pot, bring chicken broth to a simmer and add the noodles. Let the noodles simmer slowly as you prepare and add the other ingredients.
Note: if you are using fresh mushrooms, slice them thinly and give them a five-minute head start in the boiling broth before adding the noodles.
- Add the rest of ingredients (but not the spinach, cilantro, or basil) to the broth. Simmer slowly.
- After the mixture has simmered for about 5 minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning with Thai fish sauce (for saltiness), Tabasco and ginger (for heat) and brown sugar (for sweetness). If you wish to add a stronger taste of lemon or more bitterness from the lime, add in some zest of each.
- As soon as the noodles are done, add the spinach, cilantro or basil. Simmer one more minute and serve hot.