Week 27, Meal 2: (Coconut) chicken soup for the soul

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things to order at any Thai restaurant is Tom Kha Gai.

The sweet citrus scent, the succulent chicken and the freshness of so many aromatics–this stuff awakens the senses with its vibrancy.

Chef Brian’s homemade version of the classic soup is no different. Here’s Week 27, Meal 2: Tom Kha Gai.

The Recipe (Yield: 4 servings)

1/2 T vegetable oil
1 serrano chile, sliced, with seeds
1 shallot, minced
1 2-inch piece ginger or galangal
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, inside tender white part sliced thin
1 can light coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2-4 T fish sauce, to taste
1 pinch brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn small (if you can find them, not totally necessary but recommended)
2 T cilantro, picked and roughly chopped
1-2 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 limes, juiced

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add serrano chile and cook for 30 seconds. Add shallot, ginger or galangal and lemongrass and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add coconut milk and chicken stock and turn up the heat, bringing  the soup to a boil.

Once it starts boiling, cut the heat to low and reduce the broth to a simmer, stirring well so all the ingredients combine. Add the brown sugar, kaffir lime leaf, 3/4 of the cilantro and the fish sauce, to taste.

Add the chicken and shiitake mushrooms and let the soup simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.

When the chicken is ready, season with salt, pepper and lime juice.

To plate: Serve in a bowl garnished with the remaining cilantro. Easy!

There’s not much to this soup, and really, in describing its flavor, I kinda went over everything up top. But for real. I feel like because I’ve finally learned how to use a knife I keep saying everything¬† is “super quick and super good.”

My kitchen speed is improving, that’s for sure, but I’m genuinely ferrealz when I say this dish is on point.

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