Monday, March 23, 2015


This Tom Yum Gai (Thai Chicken Soup) is simple to make and tastes amazing. And it's even healthier than most Western-style chicken soups owing to the potent mix of herbs and spices that add so much flavor and richness to the broth. It's also a very versatile soup in that nearly any type of vegetable can be added that you prefer - or throw in some noodles and you have a wonderful Thai-style chicken noodle soup! Well known for its soothing warmth as well as its incredible health benefits, this soup is bound to wisk away any cold or flu symtoms and leave you feeling both soothed and energized. ENJOY!


6 cups good-quality (strong) chicken stock
1-2 boneless chicken breasts or 3-4 thighs, sliced, OR 1-2 cups roasted chicken or turkey
1 fresh lemongrass stalk, OR 2 Tbsp. frozen/bottled prepared lemongrass
4 kaffir limes leaves (fresh, frozen, or dried) OR substitute 1 tsp. lime zest
6-8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 fresh red or green chilies, finely sliced, OR substitute 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
1 tomato, chopped into wedges or chunks
optional: 1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 to 1 can good-quality (thick) coconut milk
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp. sugar, to taste
3 spring (green) onions, sliced
handful fresh coriander and/or basil

Place chicken stock in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. If you have leftover chicken or turkey bones, add those too.
Add the lemongrass and bring to a boil. If using fresh lemongrass, slice and mince only the lower half of the stalk, then slice upper half into 3-4 inch segments and add to the soup pot.
Add fresh chicken (or leftover chicken or turkey), kaffir lime leaves/lime zest, galangal or ginger, garlic, chili, plus mushrooms and celery. Bring soup back up to boiling then reduce to medium heat, simmering 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
Add tomatoes and bell pepper (if using) and simmer 2 more minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Simmer gently 1-2 minutes while you taste-test the soup. Tip: Look for a balance between spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors. Start with salty, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice. If too sour, add more sugar. If too spicy, or if you'd like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If not spicy enough, add more chili.

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