|Kaffir lime leaves|
This soup uses Kaffir lime leaves - these are leaves from a type of lime, and when used it cooking, they add a delicious lime taste to whatever it is you put them in. These are most common in Thai cooking, and I can't really remember having them in other cuisine's dishes - which isn't to say that it didn't happen, just that I can't remember it.
|Lemongrass - Courtesy of foodsubs.com|
Image courtesy of eujacksonville.com
Fish sauce is an incredible ingredient. Made from fermenting anchovies by the ton, this stuff gives whatever you add it to an incredible tasty / savoriness - this comes from the free glutamates / Glutamic acid that is produced by the fermentation process. You'd probably recognize that "tasty / savory" taste from a common food additive, MSG, Monosodium Glutamate. Most glutamates have a wonderful savory taste, and fish sauce is full of them. Balanced right, it is an essential part of Thai cooking.
Canned Straw mushrooms taste like regular mushrooms but are authentic, Palm sugar (or jaggery) basically tastes like a somewhat fatty regular sugar, and red chilis and coconut milk you should be able to find at your local supermarket - and save a bit of money vs. buying everything at the Asian market :)
|Thai fish sauce|
2.5 Cups of chicken stock. You can substitute vegetable if you want.
2 Kaffir lime leaves. A little bit goes a long way with these guys, they're flavor powerhouses!
4 inches of lemongrass
A 2 inch piece of galanga root, cut the long way into 4 pieces
2 TBSP fish sauce
2 TBSP lime juice (about 3-4 good limes)
1 Good sized chicken breast, sliced as thin as possible.
1 4-5oz can of straw mushrooms
1.5 cups of coconut milk
1TBSP of jaggery (palm sugar)
2 Thai chilis
Sri Racha hot sauce, or another authentic Thai style hot sauce.
1) Heat your chicken stock in a large flat-bottomed pan. Add in the Kaffir lime leaves, the lemongrass, galanga root, fish sauce, and lime juice. Slowly heat until simmering.
2) Add in the chicken, mushrooms. Keeping the heat low and stirring constantly, simmer for 3 minutes until chicken is cooked.
3) Add in the coconut milk, sugar, and chilis, and cook another minute. Make sure the sugar is dissolved through the soup, but try to avoid cooking the coconut milk for too long - the flavor starts to break down.
Garnish your soup with some Sri Racha and serve with hot sauce! You're done!
In my next post I'll give a recipe for a simple Thai hot sauce that goes perfectly with this soup, and all thai foods :) Check it out at http://hudsonvalleyeatsandtreats.blogspot.com/2012/04/simple-authentic-thai-hot-sauce.html .