Tom Kha Kai ต้มข่าไก

Tom Kha Kai

This is such a comforting dish, similar to the Thais national dish “Tom Yum Gung” but a creamier version. This recipe is for my lovely friend Vladimira who adores this soup and calls it her ‘Top Soup”.

· Sieve, Muslin Cloth, 2 Large Sauce Pans, Blender or Food Processor.

Ingredients Serves 4:
1.    300g Chicken Breast (skinned)
2.    40 grams of peeled Galangal
3.    6x Sticks of Lemongrass
4.    1 Bunch of Thai Coriander
5.    8 Kaffir Lime Leaves
6.    5 Red Thai Chillies (reduce or add to your preferred level of heat)
7.    5 Thai shallots (crushed)
8.    1x 1 litre carton of Coconut Milk (do not use the reduced fat  coconut milk).
9.   The juice of two limes
10.  7.5x Teaspoons of Fish Sauce
11.  6x straw or oyster mushrooms
12.  4x tomatoes
13.  ¾  tsp of salt
14.  Fresh coriander
15.  4x spring onions
16.  40 grams of garlic
17.  75 grams of ginger
18.  1x tsp black pepper corns
19.  1x star anise
20.  3x tsp sugar

The Stock:
1. Create the Asian style chicken stock. Ideally create the chicken stock by boiling two chicken carcasses in 1.6 litre of water. Skim the scum off the top of the stock leaving you with a clear broth. Alternatively buy Waitrose’s fresh chicken stock or create the chicken stock using Korrs’ chicken stockpot, 2 stockpots will create 1.5 litres of stock. (personally, I would recommend using the fresh stock as the taste does make a big difference.)
2. Add on the boiling stock, four bruised spring onions, 40g of bruised whole garlics cloves (do not slice), 75g of peeled ginger, a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns and up to one whole star anise depending on your taste.

The Tom Kha Paste:
1. Whilst the stock is simmering create the Tom Kha paste. Finely chop 75g of shallots, 40g of garlic, 40g of galangal (you can use ginger if you cannot find galangal in the shops), and six lemongrass stalks. I always chop these ingredients as finely as possible because unless you have an industrial grade food processor/blender if the ingredients are not chopped as finely as possible you will break the blender – as I have already done twice! Put the finely chopped ingredients in the blender with a few tablespoons of coconut milk and blend until smooth.
2. Add the paste to the simmering stock and continue to simmer for three to five minutes.
3. Take the stock off the heat and pass through a sieve to remove the larger ingredients no longer needed such as the spring onions and ginger. For a smoother soup pass the liquid through a muslin cloth, as per the picture below. (This removes any of the ingredients the blender might not have blended completely smooth.)
4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, salt, chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring back to the boil until the chicken is cooked, season with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and chillies to taste.

Serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh coriander leaves. It should taste both sour and creamy.

Tom Kha Kai 2

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