BEST EVER TOM KHA GAI SOUP ( THAI COCONUT CHICKEN SOUP )

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when I was in college, I fell in love with cooking. Like, swept me off my feet, fall flat on my back, obsess over it day in and day out in love. And so, it being 2006, . I went into detail about my obsessions and how the one recipe I always wanted to learn to make was the fresh salsa from my favorite Mexican restaurant. In fact, you can read the story here and get the recipe for the best restaurant style salsa everby clicking here. You’ll thank me later (pretty sure).

What happened was this: a guy at my college found my profile and saw that it was my lifelong dream to recreate this salsa. He reached out to the head of marketing or CEO or something like that at the restaurant in question and told her this sob story about how we were engaged and living abroad and I was terribly homesick and all he wanted to do for Christmas was make me a giant feast to remember home, including this salsa that I loved so much, of course.

tom kha soup is based off the exceptional dish found at a local chain of restaurants in the state where I went to college. It was different than the Thai coconut chicken soup I’d had before, and it sold me forever and ever on Thai food. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it solo, though, but it all made sense when he got me the secret recipe.

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This tom kha soup recipe (or Thai coconut chicken soup) is absolutely perfect. Rich and creamy yet tangy and salty, this Thai coconut chicken soup recipe is filling but light and positively bursting with flavor. The very best tom kha gai recipe I’ve ever made or tried. With Whole30, paleo, and vegan options, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 red jalapeno pepper sliced, or a couple Thai chiles, halved
  • 3 quarter-inch slices slices galangal or ginger
  • 1 lemongrass stalk pounded with the side of a knife and cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth see Note 1 if vegan or on Whole30
  • 4 cups canned coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 2 medium chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces, see Note 2 for vegan/vegetarian or to use shrimp
  • 8 oz. white mushroom caps sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. coconut sugar if on Whole30, see Note 3
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp. fish sauce plus more to taste, see Note 4 if on Whole30 or vegan
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 green onions sliced thin
  • fresh cilantro chopped, for garnish
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Wine Pairing

  • 2019 Gallivant Sauvignon Blanc 
  • 2018 L’Original Sparkling Rosé 

Instructions

1.In a medium pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno or chile, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, and red curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce head and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes

2.Strain out the aromatics (the garlic, onions, lemongrass, and ginger) and discard. Add in coconut cream or milk, chicken breast (or tofu or shrimp), and mushrooms. Simmer until chicken breast pieces are just cooked through, then add fish sauce, coconut aminos, and lime juice, plus more of each to taste. 

3.Cook 2 minutes, then ladle into serving bowls and top with sliced green onions and fresh cilantro.

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