Thai Lemon Grass Soup
When it comes to learning something new in the kitchen, it's hard to beat the Viking Cooking School. I recently stopped in at there Memphis Facility where chef Jason Lafferty used several aromatic herbs, including lemon grass, to create this soup inspired by Thai cuisine. This flavorful, creamy chicken soup is served as part of many Thai dinners. It features the unique flavor of galangal (called "kha" in Thai), which is heavenly when blended with chile peppers, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. Galangal resembles pale yellow, slender ginger. In fact, fresh young ginger can be substituted for the galangal, but the flavor will not be quite the same.
- 16 oz. chicken stock
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
- 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
- 1 2-inch piece galangal, sliced
- 1 8oz.can straw mushrooms, drained, rinsed
- 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk
- 1 whole red chile pepper, dried, crushed
- 1 6oz. chicken breast
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 tbsp. lime juice
- 6 green onion, tops only, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
In a medium sauce pan, combine the chicken stock, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, Galangal and straw mushrooms over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to the boil, then add the thin coconut milk, dried chile and chicken pieces.
Immediately reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently, uncovered, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, green onions and cilantro. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with fish sauce, lime juice and chiles as needed. The key to this dish is executing the final seasoning; for a saltier, more complex dish, add more fish sauce, one teaspoon at a time, up to 4 tablespoons. For a brighter, livelier soup, add more lime juice. For a fiery finish, stir in another chile.
Just before serving, top each bowl with a dollop of the reserved (from the top of the can) coconut cream; serve immediately with jasmine rice.
Recipe provided by The Viking Cooking School.
Time to prepare: 45 minutes.