Need recipe for Thai coconut soup, please!
My friend and Inare currently addicted to Beverly Hiils Thai in LA. They have this soup, I think it's Tom Yum, that's made with coconut milk or coconut cream. Because it's a kosher establishment, it's made with either chicken or vegetable broth, but no dairy. We've been able to identify the subtle flavor of coconut and lime bbu nothing else. The soup is so creamy and rich... Has silky cubes of tofu, slices of mushroom, scallions and pieces of what I beleve is lemon grass, fresh Bay or lime leaf perhaps, and cilantro. I'd lovevto be able to make it at home. Any suggestions?
I make it all the time, very easy but you need lots of ingredients.
Take ginger, garlic, shallot, lemon grass and hot peppers and lightly brown under broiler then add to pot with chicken stock. Bring to boil, add shitake, sprouts, tofu, scallion. Simmer, add coconut milk, fish sauce- I prefer can of anchovies, red curry paste, chicken. Simmer, when chicken is done add lime juice, cilantro and lime leaves. You can also add a big handful of chopped spinach. Add more Thai hot peppers if you like spice. Serve with rice noodles. You don't need salt because of anchovies.
Don't use lite coconut milk, use two cans if you like it rich. Extra curry makes it zesty. Many recipes use Thai ginger - galangal.
Here's a good tutorial to get you started. The main stars in the aromatic category are galangal, lemongrass, and keffir lime. Yes, it smells different than normal lime leaves. For me that is what often (but not only) distinguishes a good version from another restaurant that doesn't use keffir lime.
I'm sure others will chime in and offer their recipes too. But this site is a good start and has pretty pictures.
Oh, and if it has tofu and not chicken as the protein, it's "Tom Kha Tao-hu" and not Tom Kha Kai (Kai or Gai = chicken)
I will probably be clobbered for doing this on the Home Cooking board....but...
I DO make it from scratch. Sometimes. Honest I do. But sometimes I make it from the paste that Lobos makes and sells in a tidy little packet, to which you add protein & coconut milk. Then I add some sliced mushrooms, scallions, cilantro, and lime juice. The packet has instructions on the back to make it with either chicken or shrimp. I do find it saltier than what I make myself, but other than that, it really is good. I buy it at an international market nearby, it's easy to find, but I gave you a link to Amazon, which is also an option.
Thanks, everyone! I'm going to try making the soup this week...
Seamunky, I'm not sure what the restaurant calls it but they do make it with chicken. I request vegetable broth and tofu because I'm vegetarian. Once my friend tasted mine, with the tofu, she started ordering it, too! :)
I cheat and make this soup to, only I am making Thom Ka Gai, I believe...
I have a small tub of paste, with a pink label 'AROY-D" brand. From a whole line of pastes for curries, etc. They have green red and yellow in the line, and a couple others.
I just marinate some chicken breast with ginger and garlic and scallions ahead, a little fish sauce too.
Then saute that briefly, add a couple Tbsp. of paste, a cup of water, can of coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add sliced shrooms, maybe a few bamboo shoots and a couple of peeled shrimp - let simmer 5 minutes.
Add some scallions, a handful of spinach and one of cilantro right near the end, and voila! Perfect soup in no time.
Lime and hot sauce to add to taste at the table. Better than my local restaurants!