Today we have an Eastern recipe on the blog with this time Thai coconut soup (Also known as Tom Kha Gai). What I love so much about Thai cooking is the balance between sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Every taste is another discovery in new flavors. In Thailand every household has its own secret ingredients for Tom Kha Gai but traditionally it is served with chicken, mine is an almost vegan (fish sauce) option with shiitake and enoki mushrooms which gives it a deep earthy flavor. For this soup you have to get some herbs you probably won’t find at your local supermarket but I can tell you it is so much worth it. While eating you will be surprised by the exotic flavors like you are on holidays to Thailand.
Tom Kha Gai soup // Thaise coconut soup
2 cans of coconut milk (800g in total)
50g galangal root
8-10 cilantro roots
5 stalks of lemongrass
3 bird’s eye chilies (the small ones are so spicy but so delicious)
10 kaffir lime leaves
40g palm sugar (the light colored version works best)
3 gloves of garlic
juice of 3 limes
1 lime (extra for with the soup)
3 tbsp. fish sauce
100g shiitake mushrooms
1 small bag of enoki mushrooms (chop a few cm of from the bottom)
First we are going to make the broth from most of the ingredients so grab a big pan to put everything in. For this you don’t have to cut all the vegetables finely because we will discard them afterwards. Start by chopping up the galangal and use some force while pressing them down on the kitchen counter to release some of the oil for the flavor. Wash the cilantro and cut of the roots. Chop the lemongrass tops of and discard them then break the stems to release the aroma, chop the chilies (discard some seeds if you don’t like spicy) and peel the shallots and garlic. Pound them to release most of the flavor. Add the galangal, cilantro roots, lemongrass, chilies, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, palm sugar, garlic in the pan. Add the coconut milk and cook this on medium heat for about 15 minutes when it cooks. Turn the heat off and let it rest for another 10 minutes to let all the flavors get in the coconut milk. Get another pan or a bowl which fits all the coconut milk and strain it through a sieve. Discard the ingredients used for the broth and put the pan with the coconut milk back on the stove. Turn back on medium heat add in the lime juice and fish sauce. Slice the shiitake, cut the bottom of from the enoki and add both to the pan. Cook for another few minutes until warm and you’re ready to serve. Serve the soup with cilantro, chilies, lime and some sliced lime leaves and enjoy!