Recipe for Toam Yum Gai (Thai Soup)


2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme *
1 medium onion; cut into pieces
2 large carrots; cut into pieces
1 chicken, cut into pieces **
6 cup water

1 mushrooms ***
1 shrimp if you want ***
1 stalk lemongrass - cut into 2 inch; pieces
2 slice galanga root - (more if you like -; chewing on them.)
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 cilantro leaves as desired
1 teaspoon chili sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 sliced hot peppers (2 or 3 slices p; er serving)


* (ad libbed with about 1 tsp or 1 tblsp of powdered thyme)

** (Some boneless skinless chicken pieces, plus some thighs with the bones bashed once with the back of a knife would be ok too -- the point being to get the flavor from the marrow out.)

*** as many as you want, cut any way you want, of any kind you want

Instructions:Use a large covered stockpot. Heat olive and sesame oil on high heat. Add cloves, bay leaves, thyme, (these should be pounded a bit first to crack the fibers and release more flavor) and onion, carrots. Cover 2 minutes, stir if you want.

Add chicken on top, and pour ONE cup of water over the tops of the chicken. Cover. Cook 5 minutes on high.

Add remainder of water, cover, continue heating till it starts to boil, then turn heat down and simmer covered 30 minutes. Skim off foam occasionally. Remove chicken, debone, and cut into bite sized pieces. Strain soup, avoid getting the sediment at the bottom. (What you do with the leftover veggies after making a stock is up to you. I think they end up in Minnesotan hot dishes....)

Take 4 cups of the stock, heat until it begins to boil, turn down the heat till it is just simmering. Add galanga, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves (bash them a bit to break the fibers--it allows them to release more flavor). Add mushrooms, chicken, (shrimp if you must). Stir in the fish sauce, chili paste. Cover, cook for another 5 minutes. Serve.

Add lemon juice (just have slices of lemon or lime that you can squeeze) cilantro, and thinly sliced jalepenos or other hot peppers at the table. Fresh liquorice basil also adds a nice touch.

Comments/Modifications: We cheated and used Swansons reduced salt chicken stock for the water in the beginning because we used boneless skinless chicken. Can't tell if it hurt or helped.

Also had 4 shiitake mushrooms which had been soaking for several days, so they were cut up, and the soaking juice was added along with the chicken and mushrooms. About one cup of this. Big win. Yum.

Yield: 1 servings

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