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Thai Chicken Soup|
This is a spicy yet mild chicken soup, flavoured with galangal, which creates a unique taste when combined with hot chili peppers, coconut milk, lime leaves and lemon grass.
16 fluid oz chicken broth
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
4 or 5, 2 inch pieces fresh lemongrass, bruised to release flavor
1 inch cube (or a bit more) galangal sliced thinly
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 oz chicken breast cut into smallish bite sized pieces
5 fluid oz coconut milk
small red Thai chili peppers, slightly crushed (to taste)
coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish.
Note: the number of red peppers is a personal choice. It can be as few as half a chili per diner, to as many as 8-10 per diner, but the dish should retain a balance of flavors and not be overwhelmed by the chili peppers.
Heat the stock, add the lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and coconut milk, then the chili peppers. Bring it back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes (until the chicken is cooked through).
Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Shrimp soup)
4 cups water
1 cup shrimp
5 straw mushrooms
1 lemon grass
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoon fish sauce
5 sprigs cilantro
3 chili peppers
Start boiling the water in a 2 quart pot. Peel and devein the shrimp and set them aside. Cut lemon grass into pieces, 5-6 inches long. Use the back of your knife to pound the lemon grass, just to bruise it to release the flavor. Drop the lemon grass in water and let boil for 5 minutes.
Put the fish sauce and 1 lime's juice into the bottom of the bowls you will serve the soup in. Crush chili pepper and add to the bowl.
Remove the stems from the kaffir lime leaves and add the leafy part to the pot. Clean and halve the mushrooms and add them to the pot. Add the shrimp and turn off the heat. Shrimp gets tough very quickly, and will cook even when it is just sitting in the warm broth. Scoop the shrimp and liquid into the serving bowls immediately. As soon as you add the liquid to the serving bowl, you will see that the broth get cloudy from the lime juice. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Be very careful, the peppers can be hot. Take a small sip at a time. Add more fish sauce and/or lime juice if it tastes bland.
Tips and substitutions
It is difficult to substitute anything for the kaffir lime leaves, but you can try a combination of lime zest and regular lime leaves.
If you can't find straw mushrooms, use the smallest white button, or cremini mushrooms you can find.
If you find it too hot, cut down on the chili peppers, or leave them whole, but leave them in as a garnish/decoration.
Thanks to Lansir