Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tom Kha

Tom Kha Gai is a chicken and mushroom coconut soup from Thailand. Since I am vegetarian, I make Tom Kha Veggie...I love this soup because it's creamy, tangy and spicy. An excellent appetizer, or entree when served with rice.

Serves: 6
1 - 4 tblsp Fish Sauce* (to taste)
1 (12 oz) can coconut milk
2 cups stock (chicken or veggie)
2 cups water
3 inches Lemongrass
1 kaffir lime leaf or 2 tablespoons lime juice
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup mushrooms
1-3 tsp chili paste (to taste)**
3 inches ginger root
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro (coriander) with stems included
1 cup chopped veggies and/or tofu
Cilantro/Thai Basil to garnish (optional)

1. Bruise garlic. Slice ginger and lemongrass into thin pieces. Put lime leaf, ginger, garlic and lemongrass in a spice bag***. (if using lime juice, add during step 3)
2. Boil fish sauce, coconut milk, stock, water, spice bag, mushrooms, and chili paste for 8 minutes.
3. Add cilantro, lime juice, and veggies and boil for two more minutes.
4. Garnish with cilantro/basil and serve

*Fish sauce is made from fermented fish, salt and water. It is VERY strong and not vegetarian. If you are ok with using fish, put this in a little at a time and taste until you like it.
**I like Sriracha brand
***Spice bags are little cheesecloth bags that you fill with spices that you want to flavor your food but that you need to pull out later - for example Lemongrass, which is tough, chewy and inedible. You can put them in without the spice bag, but then you have to go through and pick them out of the soup. They sell these bags all over the place, including Bed Bath and Beyond, Sur la Table and, and they're reasonably priced.

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