Tom Kha Gai ~ Thai Coconut Soup

TomKhaGai

 

I adore our local Thai restaurant. The lighting is dim.  The aromas entice.  Its diminutive size invites us to linger in a cozy corner discussing dreams and goals over cup after cup of steaming oolong.  I keep telling our boys that one day my husband and I will take them to eat inside the Thai restaurant.  I haven’t kept that promise, though we have ordered take-out to enjoy together while sitting on big  pillows around the coffee table.  I think it may be the one place my husband and I need to keep for ourselves.  Maybe we’ll take them to the other, not so good, Thai eatery in town.  We can make a different kind of magic there.  Create memories of all of us together.  Mhm.  I think that’s what we’ll do.

Tom Kha Gai is my absolute favorite dish at our little Thai restaurant.  I made it at least once a month while my blog was out of commission, and vowed that it would be the first post on the new blog.   Well the new blog didn’t happen.  So I updated the old one.  Then it happened.  I have my own website!  So here it is, the first recipe post on my new site.  I give you…Tom Kha Gai!  I always say it with my nose scrunched.  Sometimes while adding a lousy imitation of a martial arts move.  I love the sound.  Tom KHA Gaieeeee!

This recipe may just be a lousy imitation of the authentic soup.  But it’s warm and creamy.  Always hits the spot!  It’s also one of the few meals that I can pull off in under 30 minutes, so holds a very special place in my heart.  😉

Ingredients:

3 T coconut oil

1 1/2 c. sliced shitake mushrooms

1/2 c. small diced red bell pepper

2 T finely minced fresh ginger

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cubed

1 can coconut milk

2 c. water

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, ribs removed, minced

2 T lime juice

3 T Thai fish sauce

1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves

Method:

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Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch oven or small stock pot.  Add in the ginger.

Toss in the chicken to saute with the ginger.

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Quickly add in the mushrooms and bell pepper.

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Saute a bit.  Pour in the coconut milk and water.

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Add jalapenos.  Simmer just until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

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Season with the lime juice, fish sauce, and cilantro.

Serve with LOTS of sticky rice.  This is one of the few dishes I make with white rice rather than brown.  I treasure every starchy bite!

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Sometimes I toss in snow or sugar snap peas and baby spinach for added nutritional value.  Wonderful!

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Yield:  This recipe makes 4 big soup bowl servings.

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