Organic Tom Khan Thai Chicken Soup
Coconut based Thai soups are what I crave when I don’t feel good and when I need something to boost my mood. They are a perfect combination of tangy, sour, rich, creamy, and all around goodness. It takes convincing for my young son to eat it even if I don’t put any spicy serrano pepper in it. He will have to come around though, because everybody else loves this soup.
Yes, it is a bit heavy and has lots of calories thanks to creamy coconut milk, but it also contains ginger and lemongrass, which are so good for us. I think this soup heals colds and sore throats. It is definitely a winter staple in our house.
The soup requires quite a few ingredients and some you probably won’t have at home. While I love visiting my international farmers market for all the supplies, good news is that you don’t have to, as long as your grocery has a small international food section. My Publix and Whole Foods both have it and so I can buy what I need there without driving 30 minutes to a more specialized store. There are, of course, times when I don’t feel like going anywhere at all and for those times I have Instacart. Instacart is an amazing service that gets my groceries from whatever local stores I want and delivers everything to my door for a small fee.
The soup is gluten-free for those who care about that. While it’s not dietary, eating a small bowl won’t hurt your waist line, so enjoy!
- Organic chicken breast or boneless thighs (1 package)
- Organic chicken broth, 1 package, about 1,000ml
- 4 cans of organic coconut milk
- 4 packages of organic Oyster mushrooms or mushroom mix
- Lemongrass paste or 2 stalks of lemon grass
- ½ of organic shallot
- 4 organic limes juice
- 2 large organic ginger roots
- 4 table spoons of Thai fish sauce
- Chili Paste (optional, for spice)
- 1 Serrano pepper (optional, for spiciness)
- Salt and pepper
- Organic olive oil
- Fresh organic cilantro bunch
I start the soup with cooking chicken first. Slice your chicken breasts or thighs in small cubes and put them in the pan with some olive oil.
Some recipes offer putting raw chicken in the pot where the rest of the soup is simmering, but I don’t like that. I don’t cook the chicken thoroughly, but I do brown it on both sides. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
In a separate pot put sliced mushrooms, shallot, lemon grass stalks if you have them, and chopped ginger to simmer.
Pour a little bit of chicken stock for moisture. This time I didn’t find lemongrass, so I bought lemongrass paste and used just a little bit of that for flavor. If that is also not available, you can use lemon zest from 1-2 lemons.
Ginger can be grated, which I tried once, but then my son refused to eat the soup.
This is why I now cut ginger in big pieces and take them out before eating. They will still give lots of flavor while cooking.
After mushrooms, shallots, and ginger are softened, add the rest of chicken broth and all 4 cans of coconut milk.
Stir continuously until boiling, then reduce heat and let it simmer.
Add chicken cubes.
While the soup is simmering, squeeze juice from 4 limes and pour it into the soup.
Add 4 table spoons of fish sauce, which can only be found in Asian food section and is made of anchovies.
It smells pretty bad, but it is essential for Tom Khan soup. Chili paste is optional and is very spicy, so you need just half a teaspoon of it.
The soup is done after all the ingredients go in and simmer together for a few minutes.
If you add raw chicken, cook it for longer. I always garnish cooked soup with chopped fresh cilantro leaves. In fact, this is the only dish where I like cilantro leaves, besides guacamole.
If you would like more spicy taste, slice fresh serrano pepper and add a few pieces to your bowl. Make sure you wear gloves while doing that. Seeds are spicier than the pepper itself and are also edible.
This soup might not take you to Thailand, but it’s the next best thing during coronavirus. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to hire Instacart personal shoppers to shop for you while you stay away from crowds!