Monday, April 4, 2011

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

If you are new to Thai food, I suggest that you start with the soup. It makes a gorgeous simple dinner with the addition of a salad. And it takes no time at all to fix. I made it for my daughter-in-law when she was healing from surgery. I think that it hastened her recovery.

1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
6 quarter-sized slices fresh ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, sliced thinly
7 ounces tofu, sliced, optional
1-3 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Thai chili paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopper fresh cilantro

1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the coconut milk, broth, ginger and lemongrass. Bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Add the chicken, optional tofu, mushrooms, lime juice, and fish sauce, salt, sugar and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked. Check for salt, adding if necessary. Remove the lemongrass pieces as best you can.
3. Pour into bowls and garnish with basil and cilantro.

You can make a vegetarian version by substituting 7-14 ounces of tofu for the chicken, vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and soy sauce for the fish sauce.

4 servings
Adapted from Jiranooch Shapiro’s version in Sunset Magazine, December 2008 

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