Thai Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Ka Gai or Kai Tom Ga)
Very tasteful culinary adventure.. Something completely different than my everyday soups.. Thumb up..
canned, such as chaokoh
cut into small chunks
juice and grated peel
four inch piece, cut into very thin
more if desired, or substitute fresh ginger
hot chili peppers
to taste, cut into thin circles
- Note: preferably Thai birds, with serranos an acceptable substitute, (though I've used sweet Fresno chiles in a variation I'll describe below).
Instructions: Pour the lime juice on the chicken and let stand while you prepare the rest of the soup.
In a medium saucepan, place the coconut milk, lemon grass, grated lime peel, galanga or ginger, and (optionally) chiles.
(The optional part is that if you don't want the whole dish to taste spicy, add the chiles later; the earlier you add them, the hotter the resulting dish.)
Bring the coconut milk to a simmer.
When the soup is simmering, add the lime-soaked chicken pieces and stir to distribute them.
Reduce the heat so the soup stays just below a boil and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are finished cooking.
Remove from heat and serve immediately with fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.
Now, the best way I ever had this soup was with pieces of fresh grouper instead of chicken.
I also added slices of kumquats instead of the ginger, and used the sweet Fresno chiles instead of Thai birds.
We also served it over Vietnamese rice noodles.