Recipes - Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)
You can make this recipe with various ingredients other than chicken - prawns, scallops, crab claws, or a mixture of seafood (including fish) or thinly sliced beef. I have also used other vegetables such as courgettes, carrots etc with vegetable stock for vegetarians, which is not exactly traditional but it is yummy.
For the lemongrass, use only the bottom white part (about 6 inches) and discard the woody grass part of it. With the flat side of a cleaver or a heavy object, pound and bruise the lemongrass so it releases the flavour. Cut into 2 inch segments.
Put the stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Toss the galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves in. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, chillies, fish sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Finally, add the chicken and mushrooms and cook till the chicken is just cooked. The moment you see it turning all white on the outside, it's 90% done.
Turn off the heat, add lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Test for saltiness and sourness. You should get the earthy flavour of galangal, noticeable amount of saltiness, sweetness from the coconut milk, and a fair bit of lime flavour, with a hint of chilli in the background. If required, adjust with more fish sauce (salt) and lemon juice (sour).