Tom Kha Gai / Thai-style Coconut Chicken Soup

Well, I haven't posted a recipe in a while, so I thought I'd share the recipe for the soup that Mr. Scrimp and I had for dinner tonight!

This is by no means a totally authentic recipe--it's my copy of the soup served at a local restaurant, and it's not as good as theirs (but it's close). I usually make a big big batch of this in our stockpot so we can eat it for several days, so this recipe will make you quite a bit of soup. A half or quarter batch is probably plenty.

Coconut Chicken Soup (serves 16)

  • 1-2 cans coconut milk (Note: Even if halving this recipe, don't use less than 1 can of coconut milk)
  • Enough homemade chicken stock to equal the amount of coconut milk
  • 1 jar Thai Kitchen green curry paste
  • 1-2 onions, diced
  • 6oz hot green chili peppers, diced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 stalks Thai basil
  • 2-3 cups chicken, diced
  • White mushrooms, sliced
  • Green peas
  • Lemon or lime juice, to taste
  • Garlic
  • Coconut or peanut oil
  • Salt, to taste

Process lemongrass and garlic in a food processor, or pound into a paste. 

In the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot, heat a splash of oil and add diced onion, lemongrass, chili peppers, and garlic. Stir until the onions begin to soften and then add the entire jar of green curry paste, and the stock. Stir these well until the curry dissolves and incorporates into the liquid. Bring to a boil.

After 1-2 minutes, add 2 teaspoons of the lemon or lime juice, along with the chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked (you can also use leftover chicken from another recipe). Add coconut milk and continue to simmer. check for taste and add more citrus and salt as necessary.

Taste often as you are putting salt in. A little bit goes a long way and too much or too little will spoil the dish. It should be a balance of spicy, tangy, salty, and creamy.

Add peas last, and cook just long enough to dissolve them, if using frozen.

Garnish with ground peanuts and serve hot or cold.

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