Tom Kha Gai was the first dish ever that G made for me back when he was in the "whooing" stage.
14 years later it is still one of our favorite soups to have at Thai restaurants or to make at home. And when one of us is coming doing with a cold or flu it's the one we crave as opposed to chicken noodle.
The coconut, lime and spice all come together in this soup making an amazing flavor and even better aroma in your home.
We had one of those busy after work evenings: drop car off to get new tires because of a recent flat, pick up mail on hold from vacation, pick up G's skis from shop (he can't wait for the weekend to come), go to Costco and pick up the pup from doggie care, etc.... all before 6 p.m.
And on top of it I was starting to crave
Tom Kha Gai which along with a sore throat and throbbing headache was sure indication that I am coming down with something.
Amongst all of our errands we decided we would add an additional stop to the Asian market to pick up some fresh galanga ginger (which is well worth the extra trip for the added flavor it brings to this dish.)
Galanga is kind of like ginger on steroids.
We also picked up Kaffir lime leaves which can be hard to find even at the Asian markets around here but on this day we were lucky and they happened to have some.
And finally lemongrass. All of these fresh Thai flavors make this soup what it is. And what it is ...is delicious.
And this soup is actually fairly simple to make. We prep all of our ingredients first and on this evening we went with using rotisserie chicken since we didn't get home until after 6:30 which really made it come together even more quickly. As soon as you add the galanga,lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves to the chicken broth the aroma in the air gives hint to the great soup that it will soon become.
Then with the coconut milk, chicken and mushrooms it becomes the Thai perfection we love. We add canned baby corns and for the first time we added some fresh noodles to the soup too.
It was the perfect remedy to soothe our long, busy day and my forthcoming ailments. Along with with a glass of Milbrandt's Sweet Catherine's Cuvee that we picked up on our recent wine tasting weekend we sat to comfort in a bowl.
This is a regularly made soup in our home and will likely always be.
Coconut Chicken Soup with Noodles ( a version of Tom Kha Gai)
3 Cups chicken broth
8 large slices galanga ginger
1 large stalk lemon grass cut into 3 inch pieces
6 pairs Kaffir lime leaves or peel from 1 small lime
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 pound cooked and shredded chicken
2 Tablespoons garlic-chile paste
1/4 Cup fresh lime juice
2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 Teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/2 pound mushrooms, quatered
1 can baby corns, drained
1 cup fresh ramen noodles
Put broth, ginger and lemongrass into dutch oven or stock pot. Tear lime leaves in half, add to pot. Gradually bring broth to boil. Boil 1 minute. Add coconut milk and then return to boil over medium heat. Stir in chicken, add chile-garlic paste, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. Stir until paste and sugar dissolve. Add mushrooms, baby corns and fresh noodles simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 1-2 minutes.
Float crushed pepper on top and remove from heat. Serve in bowls. Remove lime leaves, ginger and lemon grass from soup before serving.