Thai chicken soup with coconut milk and galanga
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 to 10 minutes
Kathy Dagang of Sacramento loved the Thai vegetarian soup served at La Bou. They no longer serve this dish so Dagang was hoping for the recipe or one similar.
Michele Johnson of Sacramento found this recipe in “The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking” by Mai Pham (Prima Publishing, 274 pages, $18.95). Pham is the owner and chef of famed Lemon Grass restaurant in Sacramento. Her husband, Trong Nguyen, is the founder of the La Bou chain.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground chili paste, or to taste
One 1-inch section frozen or fresh galanga, thinly sliced and bruised with the back of a knife
3 cups homemade unsalted or canned low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 pound chicken breasts or thighs, skinned, boned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (omit chicken for vegetarian version)
1 cup straw or white mushrooms
1 cup cubed red ripe tomato
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 kaffir lime leaves, cut in half
6 fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped for garnish
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until moderately hot. Add the shallot, garlic, lemon grass, chili flakes and chili paste and brown slightly, about 30 seconds. Working quickly and without burning the spices, add the galanga, chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and add the chicken (if using), mushrooms and tomato. As soon as it comes to a second boil, turn off the heat, add the lime juice and lime leaves, and serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro.
Per serving, without chicken: 313 cal.; 8 g pro.; 12 g carb.; 29 g fat (23 sat., 3 monounsat., 3 polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 781 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 77 percent calories from fat.