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TOM KHA GAI

It's time for Tom Kha Gai! Ranked top 10 from the website “Tasteatlas” last week, Tom Kha Gai is a popular Thai soup known for its rich, creamy and aromatic flavors. It typically consists of chicken, coconut milk, and a variety of herbs and spices.


Here's a basic recipe to make Tom Kha Gai at home:

Ingredients

For the Soup:

• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use chicken thighs), thinly sliced

• 3 cups of coconut milk

• 2 cups of chicken broth

• 2-3 slices of galangal (substitute with ginger if unavailable)

• 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces (substitute with lime zest if unavailable)

• 2-3 stalks of lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces and smashed

• 2-3 Thai bird's eye chilies, smashed (adjust to your spice preference)

• 200g or 7 oz of straw mushrooms or any mushrooms of your choice, sliced • 1 medium-sized tomato, cut into wedges

• 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce (adjust to taste)

• 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice (adjust to taste)

• 1-2 teaspoons of sugar (adjust to taste)

• Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

For Flavoring Paste:

• 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

• 1-2 shallots, minced

• 1-2 slices of galangal (or ginger if unavailable)

• 1-2 lemongrass stalks (only the bottom white part), minced • 2-3 bird's eye chilies (adjust to your spice preference)

• 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste (optional)


Instructions

Prepare the Flavoring Paste:

1. In a mortar and pestle, pound the minced garlic, shallots, galangal (or ginger), lemongrass, bird's eye chilies and shrimp paste (optional) into a smooth paste. Alternatively, you can use a food processor.

Make the Soup:

1. In a large pot, heat about 1/2 cup of coconut milk over medium heat until it begins to boil.

2. Add the flavoring paste to the coconut milk and stir for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

3. Add the sliced chicken and cook until it turns white and is no longer pink on the outside.

4. Pour in the remaining coconut milk and chicken broth, then add the torn kaffir lime leaves, galangal slices, smashed lemongrass and smashed bird's eye chilies; Bring to a gentle simmer.

5. Add the sliced mushrooms and tomato wedges. Let the soup continue to simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked, and the mushrooms and tomatoes are tender.


Season the Soup:

1. Season the soup with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Adjust the quantities to achieve the perfect balance of salty, sour and sweet flavors. Start with smaller amounts and add more as needed.

Serve:

1. Remove the soup from the heat and discard the lemongrass and galangal slices.

2. Ladle the Tom Kha Gai into bowls, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.

Enjoy your homemade Tom Kha Gai! Adjust the level of spiciness and flavors to your liking.



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