It’s pretty crazy that this is my first Thai dish I’ve posted on here. Why? Because I’m pretty obsessed with Thai food. We have two great Thai restaurants in Virginia Beach: Tida Thai and Bangkok Garden. Spring rolls, summer rolls, pad thai, kao pad (thai fried rice), green papaya salad, and oh yes, Thai coconut soup. The flavors are so intense and so yummy and everything tastes so fresh! Very common ingredients in tom kha ga (Thai coconut soup) are fresh ginger, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk (obviously), and thai chiles. Awesome toppers include fresh cilantro, scallions, are lime wedges!
After studying abroad in Spain with me, one of my good friends, Izzy, traveled to Portugal, Australia, China, and guess what…THAILAND! She had already been there and Laos when she was in high school and fell in love with Southeast Asia. She knows how much I love food and cooking, so she brought me an awesome gift – a packet of 12 different Thai spices! She knows me too well. Any who, a couple days after I got the spices my mom and I made this soup using the dried lemongrass (couldn’t find fresh in Food Lion), kaffir lime leaves, coriander seeds, and galanga – another Southeast Asian spice popular in Thai cuisine.
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup: (adapted from Cooking Light and Tyler Florence)
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Servings: 4 people (in my family, you always eat seconds)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 dried Thai chiles (if you have fresh, you can use those – we couldn’t find any in Food Lion, so we used a jalapeño as well)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 (13 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- juice of 4 limes (plus lime wedges for garnish)
- 2 teaspoons ground chile paste
- 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (we poached ours with lots of salt, dried lemon grass, and coriander seeds)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions (plus more for garnish)
Grind dried Thai chiles in a mortar and pestle or finely dice fresh Thai chilies, set aside. Pour chicken stock in a pot. Place dried or fresh Thai chiles, ginger, garlic, and kaffir lime leaves in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cover for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and ground chile paste. Next place the shredded chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions in the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper as needed. Right before serving make sure to remove kaffir lime leaves and then stir in cilantro and green onions. Ladle soup into bowls for serving and garnish with lime wedges and more cilantro and green onions.