I don’t know about you but I am a sucker for good Thai food. I love pretty much all Thai curries but when we go out, I find myself more often than not with giant steaming bowls of aromatic soups and tiny cups of sticky rice.
This soup is reminiscent of Tom Kha Gai with the primary difference being that Tom Kha Gai soup utilizes copious amounts of a somewhat hard to find ingredient called galangal. While more and more places are beginning to carry galangal, it’s still hard to find in many locales and not easily substituted… so we set out to make a Thai chicken soup that didn’t require it.
This one fits the bill! It’s savory and sour all at once. It has that amazing coconut mouth texture from the coconut milk that pairs so well with the zing of the lime juice, the heat of the chilies and a mellow hint of fish sauce. We added chicken and mushrooms for great savory flavor and plenty of lemongrass and ginger for aromatics.
It’s a relatively quick soup to whip up so you could definitely do this as a weeknight dish or simmer it in the house this weekend for a perfect cozy dinner!
Top it with plenty of basil and cilantro and serve it with big bowls of sticky rice. Mixing up a Thai iced tea to go along with it would be heaven and these lobster spring rolls would also make a lovely addition to the table if you are feeling extra inspired.
Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup
- 3 lemongrass stalk or 3 tbsp. lemongrass paste
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cubed chicken breasts or tenders
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 (15 ounce) cans full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (if you don’t like it fishy start with 1 tablespoon and adjust to taste)
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 5 small fresh red chilies, minced (to desired level of spice)
- 1 thumb sized ginger root, peeled and grated
- .5 tsp coriander powder
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- Serve with: sticky rice, Thai iced tea, and spring rolls if desired
- Pound the lemongrass stalks with a heavy mallet or rolling pin to release aroma and flavor.
- Place chicken broth and lemongrass in large stock pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
- In 12-inch saucepan over medium high heat, cook chicken and mushrooms thoroughly in butter and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Add cooked chicken and mushrooms, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, fresh chilies, ginger root and coriander powder to chicken broth.
- Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Taste and add salt and pepper.
- Top with fresh basil and cilantro.
- Serve with sticky rice, Thai iced tea and spring rolls if desired!