Friday, December 28, 2012

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Ka Gai)

This vegan version of Tom Ka Gai has all of the flavor you would expect in a traditional bowl of Thai soup. All of the ingredients can be easily found at any Asian grocery near you but if you don't have the access, substitute Thai basil for regular basil, tamari for soy and palm sugar for brown sugar. The flavor will be different of course, but still delicious and close enough to the real thing.

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Coconut milk tames down the otherwise very spicy broth of this Thai chicken soup. Green chiles, cilantro, Thai basil and lemongrass give light floral touches that work perfectly with coconut, lime and ginger.

Tom Ka Gai- Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
serves 3
2 tbl coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cup sliced chanterelle mushrooms
8 oz vegan chicken strips (thawed if frozen)*
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 serrano chile, minced
1 lemongrass stalk, white parts only, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1-15oz can coconut milk
3 tbl fresh cilantro, minced, divided
3 tbl fresh thai basil, minced, divided
1 tbl palm sugar (or organic brown sugar)
1 tbl tamari
1 tbl lime juice
2 tsp sambal or any hot chile paste

In a medium sized pot, saute the mushrooms in oil over medium-high heat until browned, 5-7 minutes.
Add the chicken, garlic, ginger, chile and lemongrass and saute 5-7 minutes more until the chicken has lightly browned.
Add the broth, coconut milk, half of the cilantro, half of the basil, sugar, tamari, lime juice and sambal. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Taste to season with salt, if necessary and garnish with the remaining herbs.
* for a gluten free version of this soup, use drained and pressed tofu.

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