Tom Kha Gai Soup

We’re going to Thailand!
A dear friend of mine is a travel troll. He trolls all sorts of travel websites looking to snag a great deal on airfare from the U.S. to just about anywhere in the world.

A few weeks ago I received a text message saying flights from California to Bangkok we just $350 round trip. Rather than hem and haw….we said YES! So it looks like we’re headed to Bangkok and Chiang Mai this Spring.

In preparation for the vibrant and tantalizing dishes we’re about to consume, I tested this recipe for Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup) with my family. They will not stop talking about it! Even those family membes not keen on spice or cilantro found it irresistibly. The key is adding just a bit of jalapeno into the soup while cooking, and serving the fixings (extra jalapeno, cilantro, sprouts, etc) on the side.

Serves 10

2 Tbs canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large nob ginger, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1 can sliced bamboo shoots
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced (you can also use a few Thai chilis)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
8 cups chicken broth (plus a bouillon cube if you think it needs it)
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp black pepper

Mung bean sprouts
Lime wedges
Jalapeno slices
Chopped cilantro
Seeded and chopped tomato (optional)

Thinly slice chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat large pot with canola oil over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and onions and saute until garlic is slightly toasted but not brown and onions are clear. Add chicken breast and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add water chestnuts and bamboo and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and sliced jalapenos. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-3 hours.
(Note: Taste as you go! If there’s something missing, it’s most likely that you’ll need to add 1 chicken bouillon cube. But don’t spill my secret!)

Just before serving, squeeze juice of 1/2 lime into the pot and stir.

Serve with a plate of fixings and enjoy!

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