Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup Recipe
(gaeng tom kha gai)
5 cups (1.25 ml) coconut milk
125 ml thick coconut cream
750 g chicken pieces, cut through the bone into bite-sized pieces or
500 g boneless breast or thigh fillet
2 in galangal, bruised and thickly sliced
4 stems lemon grass, bottom 7 in only, bruised and cut into 4-5 pieces
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
4-6 red or green bird’s eye chilies, bruised
Sprigs of coriander (cilantro) leaf
Put the thin coconut milk, galangal and lemon grass into a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring frequently. Simmer gently with the pan uncovered for 5 minutes, then add the chicken and simmer gently, uncovered, until the chicken is tender. Add the thick coconut cream, lime leaves and chilies and bring almost to the boil, stirring. Transfer to a large bowl and garnish with coriander (cilantro). Serve with the Simple Thai Chili and Fish Sauce Dip in separate bowls and allow everyone to add according to taste.
Note: In Thailand, this wonderfully creamy soup is often served in an unglazed terracotta pot with a curved bottom, placed on a charcoal brazier to keep it warm throughout the meal. The galangal, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves give a heavenly fragrance, and as there are only a few bruised chilies, the flavor is fairly mild. Serve with rice and and Dip, which lets you intensify the heat as much as you like.