Saturday, March 12, 2011

HF Tutorial: Tom Ka Gai (Spicy/Sweet Chicken & Lemongrass Soup)

This week's tutorial comes from Leah Butler of Reyna Red Jewelry

    I love spicy food – especially Asian cooking.  One of my favorites is Tom Ka Gai – which is a coconut milk based Thai soup made with chicken and lemongrass.  This is an amazing soup to make all year round, but I really like it in the Winter months, when it’s cold outside and snow’s on the ground.  The spicy/sweet flavor will warm you up!  The recipe I use for a base is from one of my favorite cookbooks – Thai & South –East Asian Cooking and Far Eastern Classics.  I’ve tweaked it over the years, so some of the ingredients I use are not in the original recipe.  Remember – cooking is about experimenting with flavors.  Have fun!

What you’ll need:

1 stock pot
Colander that fits into the stock pot
Meat tenderizer
Cutting board
Chopping knife


4 lemon grass stalks, roots trimmed
2 cans of coconut milk (14 fl. Oz each)
2 cups of chicken stock
1 inch piece of Thai ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (galangal)
1 tsp. black pepper
10 lime leaves, torn
11 oz chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 cup button mushrooms
1 can baby corn, drained and quartered lengthwise
4 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 can bamboo shoots, drained and sliced thin

Chopped fresh chilis (depending on how hot you want your soup!), green onions, and fresh cilantro to garnish.

 Step 1:  Chop ingredients and prepare

Cut off the lower 2 inches from lemongrass stalks and chop finely.  Bruise the remaining stalks with a meat tenderizer (4-6 strokes each) and set aside.  Quarter baby corn, mushrooms, slice bamboo shoots and Thai ginger; set aside.  Thinly slice chicken into strips.

Step 2:  Making the soup stock

Add coconut milk and chicken broth to stock pot and bring to a boil.  Place the colander into the stock pot (should be submerged into the stock), and then add all the lemongrass, the Thai ginger, the pepper and half the torn lime leaves.  Lower the heat and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Step 3:  Finishing the soup

Remove the colander to strain the lemongrass, Thai ginger, and lime leaves from the stock.  Set into sink.  Add the chicken, corn, bamboo shoots and mushrooms to the stock and simmer an additional 5-7 minutes on medium, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked.  Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce, as well as the remaining lime leaves.

Serve hot – garnish with chopped chilies, cilantro and green onions as desired.  Accompany with jasmine rice for traditional meal.

Serves 4-6 people.  Freezes like a dream for up to 6 weeks.


Thank you Leah for sharing this recipe.  If you would like to be featured in this place, please contact us via the CONTACT tab at the top of the blog.

1 comment:

Reyna Red - Wind Dancer said...

No one likes spicy food? LOL