Monday, June 16, 2008

Soup Week 24: Tom Ka Gai

Wow! It's hard to know where to start for this week's soup. I am a huge fan of Top Chef, so when Lisa won raves for her Tom Ka Soup Dumplings with Organic Chicken recipe my "soup radar" definitely went off. I checked out the recipe and concluded that since I was making such a small amount it was going to be too much of a hassle. Then, with the help of the Top Chef Ravelry group, I discovered a more basic recipe here.

After reading the reviews, I decided to make the soup more authentic by substituting ingredients with the help of a local oriental grocery store. So, in the end it was a combination of the two recipes. Since not everyone may want to trace down the Thai ingredients, I'll post the original recipe with my substitutions noted on the side.

Tom Ka Gai
(Coconut Chicken Soup)

READY IN: 35 Min

6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken meat
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root ( I used galangal-thai ginger)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( I used thai chili paste)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (I omitted this-it just turns the soup bright yellow)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

I added: 1 stalk lemon grass and some kaffir lime leaves

1. Cut chicken into thin strips and saute in oil for to 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken turns white. (I just poached some chicken earlier in the day)

2. In a pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat. Add ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne powder and turmeric. Simmer until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes (less if using pre-cooked chicken). This is where I took some lemon grass-you can see the stalks- some kaffir leaves and also simmered them.

3. Turn soup to low (make sure it is not boiling) add coconut milk stirring constantly so it will not curdle. Strain out the lemon grass stalks and kaffir leaves.

4. Many reviewers suggested serving over some rice, I served mine over udon noodles. Sprinkle with scallions and fresh cilantro and serve steaming hot.

This was soooooo good. Infact, this was the bowl less than 10 minutes later-which is saying a lot since it was 100 degrees outside and not exactly soup weather.

  • I really enjoyed using the Thai ingredients (galangal, lime kaffir leaves, lemongrass, chili paste) but am confident (based on the reviews) it would taste just as great with the easier-to-find ingredients.
  • Be sure to read all the reviews for suggestions to the basic recipe.
  • The tumeric supposedly just made the soup bright yellow, so I just left it out.

  • Whatever you do, don't smell the fish sauce.
  • This was such a good soup and made me want to look into cooking more Thai recipes!


At 6/17/2008 , Blogger Bezzie said...

I love Thai food--that looks delish!


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