Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Thai Chicken Galangal soup

Chicken galangal soup
This is one of my favorite thai soups.
I learnt to do it a long time ago, when I was taking Thai cooking classes. The recipe stayed with me and I cook it regularly. It's very delicate and quite easy to make, and very healthy.
I live close to Chinatown, so I am pretty spoilt, but I reckon many of you will find it difficult to find fresh galangal, and all the other ingredients I always have at home. I'd say you could replace it by either fresh ginger or pwdered galagal, however, it wopn't quite be the same. Thai food is best eaten with fresh ingredients. Other than that, the other ingredients should be easy enough to find in normal supermarkets, in Britain anyway.

You will need for 4 people (or two greedy ones):
- 200g chicken Fillet, sliced into mouth size pieces
- 5 slices of fresh galangal
- 2 cups of Coconut milk (a tin of Chaokoh coconut milk will be perfect)
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- 2 sticks of fresh lemongrass sliced diagonally
- 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves, fresh if possible, dry is ok
- 2 tblsp thai fish sauce
- 1 to 2 tablspn Lime juice
- 5 bird eye chilis, (2 if you are a bit sensitive), sliced
- 2 sprigs of fresh coriander
- 200g fresh mushrooms, prepared and cut in half

Heat the coconut in a pan, dilute with either chicken stock or water , and once hot, throw in the galangal, mushroom, lemongrass, kafir lime and then the chicken.
Season with the lime juice and fish sauce, the chilis
Simmer for one minute only and then add the coriander to garnish.
Serve right away and enjoy.

This soup is great to warm you up in winter, and obviously can be apreciated in hot weather as well. It
feels very light and satisfying.

It is a typical soup you can find in Thailand, in restaurants or as street food. The photo at the top was taken at my favorite streetfood stall
in Koh Samui: John's stall as I mentioned in an earlier post.

The soup can also be made with prawns or seabass instead of chicken.
Also, the same soup can be made without the coconut milk (only chicken soup), but it would then be a Tom Yam soup, very delicious as well.

The best coconut milk available in our shop is the chokaoh brand, as it is made of young coconut scrapped.

I have inserted below a few photos I took during a stay in Thailand, where I visited a coconut harvest at a plantation, near Chiang Mai:
Coconut milk heated

Source: My Thai cook teacher Chorchaba, photos: myself.