It is pretty cheering and I must say rare that a single local dish will grab the attention of the entire world. Tom kha gai did just that! However, with fame comes the danger of losing it essence. You see, if a dish can be found on a menu of a Thai restaurant in the heart of rural America, where you will not find any Thai people in a 50km radius, I would not easily trust their interpretation of it.
The truth of the matter is that this is a very simple dish to make and so very delicious.
It is simple dishes like this, with an elegant statement, that really brings local flavors into your plate. I hope you will approve, well, I know you would, after all, it is hard not to welcome the soothing silkiness of this warm and creamy coconut soup that focuses on the essentials – tastiness.
Chicken Galangal Fresh Coconut Soup Recipe
- 300gr chicken breasts
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 2 cups water
- 2 galangal root about 5cm (2″) each (preferably mature galangal),
- 6-8 Large straw mushrooms
- 1/4 cup thinly chopped galangal root (preferably young galangal)
- 2 tbs chopped lemon grass
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 tbs fish sauce
- 3 tbs lime juice
- 10 bird’s eye chilies
- 1 stalk coriander
- Prepare fresh coconut cream and milk as describes here or use canned coconut cream.
- Cut skinless chicken breasts into even bite size pieces to assure even cooking. Cut at 45 ° across the meat fibers. To cut the chicken into beautiful pieces, place the chicken on the cutting board with the skin side down.
- Bring the coconut milk into a boil, (if using canned coconut, dilute couple tablespoon of canned coconut cream with water to substitute).
- Add chicken and briefly cook for couple of minutes, or until only just bit more than half done.
- Immediately remove the chicken and set aside. (The meat will cook further from the residual heat and the chicken will remain moist and tender).
- Bring half of coconut cream mixed the water to a boil.
- Add two whole 5 cm (2″) long galangal roots. Bruise the roots hard in a mortar and pestle. Simmer for about five minutes.
- Remove the bruised roots and discard.
- Add sliced galangal, chopped lemon grass.
- Add straw mushrooms
- Keep simmering for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-low heat until fragrant.
- Season with fish sauce
- Return the chicken to the soup
- Add remaining coconut cream, splitting the coconut cream ensure smooth and creamy texture, coconut cream tends to break the oil if cooked for long.
- Add hand teared kaffir lime leaves, season with limejuice (equal in amount to the fish sauce) add bird’s eye chilies.
- Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.