Tom kha gai

Tom kha gai

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

Rebecca Hsu Hui Min, the cooking queen of Hong Kong in the 1960s and 1970s, was a great influence in my early career. I knew something about Cantonese food from my regular visits to Sydney’s Chinatown but she introduced me to hot and spicy northern Chinese food. I quickly took to the hot and sour taste of dishes like Sichuan Chicken Salad and other South-East Asian food, such as Thailand’s Tom Kha Gai (chicken soup). The sourness of the limes, heat of the red birdseye chillies, sharpness of the lemongrass and the kaffir lime leaves give this soup a lovely taste and fragrance.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 cups * chicken stock [rid:7474]
2 stalks lemongrass, tender parts cut into thin diagonal slices
2 kaffir lime leaves
3 slices galangal, cut into thin matchsticks, (optional)
6 straw or button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 chicken breast fillets, skin removed, cut into strips
2 cups coconut milk
1-2 red birdseye chillies, split and seeded coriander leaves, to garnish

Method

  1. Place the chicken stock in a large saucepan, add the lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal (if using), mushrooms and salt and bring slowly to the boil, then reduce heat. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and chicken strips and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, then add the coconut milk and chillies. Bring slowly back to the boil, stirring. Do not cook too quickly after adding the coconut milk — this should prevent the coconut milk from separating. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with coriander.

Tip

  • Galangal looks like ginger (and they are indeed from the same family) but the two are not interchangeable. Many greengrocers and supermarkets sell galangal and kaffir lime leaves.
Tags:
Margaret
Fulton
Favourites
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