Recipe for Gai Tom Kha (Thai Chicken And Coconut Milk Soup)


4 cup medium coconut milk
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
3 quart pieces dried galangal (kha), or
6 quart pieces fresh galangal
4 stalks fresh lemon grass, bruised,; cut into 2-inch lengths
6 fresh serrano chiles, sliced into r; ounds
1 large whole chicken breast *
4 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves (makrut),; if available
2 fresh limes, juice
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves


* cut into 1/2-inch pieces (with or without bones, see note)

Combine coconut milk, chicken stock, galangal, lemon grass and 4 of the chiles in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain stock; discard galangal and lemon grass. Return stock to a boil, add chicken and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Add fish sauce, citrus leaves and remaining chiles. Stir in the lime juice. Garnish with coriander.

Serves 6 to 8.

NOTE: I like to use boned chicken breast if I'm cooking for guests. For the best flavor, however, use a whole small chicken chopped into small pieces with the bones; increase the cooking time until chicken is tender.

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