So, I had this plan to make Thai Coconut Soup for dinner tonight. I looked up recipes and they all had some basic ingredients (chicken stock, coconut milk, lime juice, ginger, garlic) and then they had some hard to find ingredients (kafir lime leaves, fish sauce, Thai basil, Thai chillies, lemon grass). I decided I would go to the grocery store and see if I could find everything, and what I could substitute if I had to. I was able to find everything but the kafir lime leaves, Thai basil, and the Thai chillies. I improvised with that I had on hand and this is what I came up with. It is by no means a traditional Thai Coconut Soup, but it hits all the same bells and whistles. (That's why "Thai" is in quotes). :)
Here's what I used:
|Ginger, lemon grass, unsweetened coconut milk, 1 can straw mushrooms, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, homemade chicken stock, onion, garlic, cooked chicken, lime juice, *cilantro|
I first got the aromatics prepared. I peeled the ginger root. I think it's easiest to do this with the edge of a spoon. This way you don't lose any flesh of the ginger, just the skin. After it was peeled, I used 3 inches total - 2 inches chopped and 1 inch minced for this recipe; and I put the rest in a zip-top bag in the freezer for another time.
I then added 4 cups of my homemade chicken stock, and simmered for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, I strained out the aromatics.
Simple "Thai" Coconut Soup
1 stalk lemon grass chopped
3 inches of ginger root, peeled (2 inches chopped, 1 inch minced)
4 cloves smashed and peeled garlic cloves
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 onion finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 8 oz can straw mushrooms, drained
2 13.5 - 14 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 cups chicken, chopped or shredded
Chop the lemon grass and put into a soup pot with 2 inches of peeled and chopped ginger, garlic and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Add chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. Return the stock to the pot and bring up to a light boil. Add onion, cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, sugar, basil, lime juice, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are soft (10-15 minutes). Then add the coconut milk, chicken and sesame oil. (If using raw chicken, simmer for 2-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.) Serve with lime wedges, cilantro leaves and hot chili oil (optional).