As the weather finally gets super cold, the body and soul crave the comfort of a steaming bowl of soup. Nothing like it if the soup is a heartwarming blend of Thai flavours, salty, sour, spicy and sweet!

Coconut milk tames the heat and combines deliciously with shredded chicken breast in this spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. I don’t make the soup stock separately. Everything goes into this one pan, the stock is made with chicken, thai basil leaves and ginger/galangal. Then I add the other soup ingredients to enhance the flavour of the basic broth.

I also add noodles to the same pan, they get cooked in the simmering soup. Addition of noodles, mushrooms and baby corn makes it a filling complete meal in one bowl which is extremely satisfying and energising on cold nights.

As I mention in all my Thai recipe posts, Ginger is not really a substitute for galangal but if you use it in double the quantity of galangal required for a recipe, it pretty much makes up for the heat and taste. The other exotic ingredient in the recipe is lemon grass which you might find difficult to get if you don’t have an Asian grocery store near you. When I’m out of stock for lemon grass, I usually add lemon zest, or lemon leaves pounded with a little lemon juice to replace that.

What you should look forward to in the final product is a good balance of sour, sweet, spicy and salty that should be leaning more towards salty.

You can also add bell peppers, carrots, spring peas and spring onions to this delicious Chicken Coconut Soup.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 chicken breasts
8 cups water
4-5 basil leaves
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 stalk lemon grass or 1 teaspoon lemon grass powder
1/2 teaspoon galangal or 1 inch piece ginger
2 teaspoons red chilli flakes
4 cloves garlic
1+1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup button mushrooms
1/2 cup baby corn
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Rice or egg noodles, one block
Fresh coriander leaves

This Is What You Do:

Heat sunflower oil in a deep pan, add chicken breasts. Cook till golden on outside.

Add water and basil leaves. Add lemon grass, galangal/ginger. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile pound together garlic and red chilli flakes to make red chilli paste.

Add chilli garlic paste, fish sauce and coconut milk to the broth. Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Scoop out chicken. Add noodles to the broth.

While the noodles are cooking in the broth, shred chicken into bite size pieces. Cut mushrooms into halves. Cut baby corn into halves lengthwise.

Add chicken, mushrooms and baby corn back into the broth.

Add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Taste for the balance of salty, sour and sweet. Add more lemon juice if required.

Serve piping hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

Serves 6

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