Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chicken Tom Kha

In February, 2008 a celebrity chef and food critic became Thailand’s Prime Minister, a record first in world history. Take that Mayor Swatzernager! This recipe is one from his collection.

Tom Kha is a favourite of mine and is surprisingly easy to make. I did find that the leftover portion I re-heated the next day developed a depth of flavour missing the day I made it. Refreshingly zesty and aromatic with heaps zing thanks to the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice and galangal (kha) that infuse the broth, coconut milk finishes the soup adding a smooth creamy texture, tempering the zing just a little. Be warned this soup will leave you craving more, while your lips bear the brunt.

If you like, the soup can also be made with shrimp, pork, beef or mushrooms, so feel free to substitute the chicken in this recipe. Thai's customarily enjoy Tom Kha ladled over a bowl of steamed Thai jasmine rice, but it is lovely simply on its own as a soup as well.

Serves 4 as soup; 2 if eaten over rice.
Ingredients: 450 ml chicken stock; 4-5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded; 4 or 5 2 inch pieces fresh , bruised to release flavor; 1 inch cube galangal sliced thinly; 4 tablespoons fish sauce; tablespoons lime; 120 g chicken breast, cut into smallish bite sized pieces; 150 ml coconut milk; 1 small red Thai chili, slightly crushed; Coriander leaves to garnish.
Method: Heat the stock, add the lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir thoroughly,bring to a boil, and add the chicken and coconut milk, then the chili peppers. Bring back to the boil, lower the heat to keep it simmering and cook for about 2 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

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