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Today’s delicious recipe “Authentic Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)” is thanks to one of our favorite people/pages/bloggers. Introducing Dawn Gifford of Small Footprint Family. Don’t miss her website! Hope you enjoy this one as much as we do.
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Authentic Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- 3-5 quart pot
- Nut milk bag or fine sieve to strain the broth
- Very sharp knife or cleaver
- Cooking thermometer
- 6 cups homemade chicken stock
- 28 oz. full-fat coconut milk (where to find coconut milk without additives or BPA online)
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 4 stalks fresh lemongrass, lower white part chopped into 1-inch chunks, then smashed with a knife Get lemongrass online or at Whole Foods or an Asian market. Chop and freeze what you can't use now
- 6 whole red shallots, peeled and chunked Sub: 3 smashed cloves of garlic plus a bit of red onion
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 4-5 whole fresh red bird's eye chilli peppers (to heat preference), smashed with a knife
- 3-inch chunk fresh galangal root, sliced Sub: ginger, but galangal is really what makes the flavour of this dish authentic. (Get fresh galangal online or at an Asian market. Chop up and freeze what you can't use now)
- 8-10 whole fresh kaffir lime leaves, remove stems and tear and bruise by hand Sub: zest of one lime, but really won't be as complex. (Get kaffir lime leaves online or at an Asian market; they freeze well.)
- 2 tsp. coconut palm sugar Optional. Sub: Rapadura or brown sugar) (where to find coconut sugar online
- 2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut to 1" pieces or use meat leftover from making broth or stock
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms button, straw, or oyster
- ¼ cup Thai fish sauce This is an essential, authentic ingredient. Get Thai fish sauce online or at Whole Foods or Asian markets
- 6-8 whole fresh limes
- 2 cans baby corn, drained and chopped optional
- Sweet red pepper rings, cherry tomato halves, or carrot slices optional
- Squirt of fresh lime juice
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 dash chili paste or Sriracha sauce optional
- Put the stock and coconut milk into a soup pot and add lemongrass, galangal, scallions, cilantro, and lime leaf. When making a large batch, put all the seasonings into a nut milk bag and "steep" it in the broth like a huge tea bag, so you don't have to strain a huge, heavy pot later.
- Bring to a simmer to infuse the herbs into the broth for about 10-15 minutes, or to taste. Do not boil!
- Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve or simply remove the nut milk bag.
- Add the sugar to the broth, if using, and bring to a low simmer of about 160-180 degrees. Do not boil!
- Add chicken, mushrooms, corn, and other veggies, and simmer until the chicken is completely cooked and the mushrooms are tender, about 5-10 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, throw in the smashed chilies and remove the pot from heat immediately.
- Add the juice of 2 limes and the fish sauce, stir, and taste. Add more lime juice and fish sauce, if necessary. The soup should be predominantly sour, followed by salty/umami.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves, lime juice and hot sauce, if using.