Thai food is based around the notion of balancing sour, sweet, salt and spicy. In America this kind of soup is seen as being a lunch or supper time dish. However in many parts of Southeast Asia, a spicy soup like this is treated as a breakfast dish. While this soup certainly is more work than a plate of bacon and eggs, this soup is a great way to start your day on a cold winter morning.
Sourcing authentic Thai ingredients can sometimes be a challenge. You can make the red Thai curry paste from the Chicken with Red Thai Curry recipe found later in this chapter, or you can buy the paste in a jar. Red curry paste is usually available in the ethnic foods aisle of the grocery store. Lemon grass can be a bigger challenge because there isn’t a high demand for it in the American market place. Sometimes you can talk to the produce manager and they can put in a special order for you.
2 Large sauce pans
Fine mesh strainer
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 stalks of lemon grass, trimmed
2 Thai chilies or Jalapeno peppers
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
½ pound of white button mushrooms, cut into quarters
½ cup of fresh cilantro, rough chopped
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 cans of coconut milk
4 cups of chicken stock
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 wedge of lime per diner (As a garnish)
2 teaspoons of Thai red curry paste
Here is how to make a Thai-Inspired Chicken Soup Recipe
Step 1: Prepare the lemon grass by trimming off the bottom 4 inches of the stalk. Then remove the outer layer. Carefully use a paring knife to cut the stalk in half lengthwise. Then chop fine with a chef’s knife.
Step 2: Place 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer add the lemon grass, garlic and shallots. Sweat them for 3 to 5 minutes or until you see the garlic starting to take on a medium golden brown color.
Step 3: Add the chicken stock to the sauce pan along with 1 of the cans of coconut milk. Add half of the cilantro and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and allow the broth to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes
Step 4: Remove the broth from the heat. Take the cover off and allow some of the heat to escape.
Step 5: Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breast into ¼ inch pieces. Slice the meat on the bias to keep the meat tender.
Step 6: Place a clean sauce pan over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, when the oil shimmers add the chicken. Toss the meat continuously for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through and take on a slight golden brown tinge on the edges.
Step 7: Strain the broth from the first sauce pan through a fine mesh strainer into the clean sauce pan. Keep the strainer low and pour slowly to reduce the changes of spatter. Discard the solids.
Step 8: Add the second can of coconut milk, lime juice, mushrooms, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste and chile peppers to the soup. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 9: Add the lime juice and the other half of the cilantro. Stir to combine and serve immediately.
Step 10: Garnish with a wedge of fresh lime and chopped scallions.