Thursday, 25 September 2008

Tom Kha Gai

I caught a cold the day after my Thai cooking class and I was feeling pretty miserable. It was also the day my mother left to return home, so I was a little sad on top of that. I really wanted a pick me up. So, on the way home from the airport I stopped at a supermarket and picked up a few ingredients to make a hot and sour soup to clear my head.

This was so easy to make. In the cooking class the instructor told us that all the work in Thai cooking is not so much in the cooking itself, but in the preparation of the ingredients. There are a few ingredients in the soup, but you could easily adjust to suit your energy level. It was nice to be able to stand there and chop mindlessly.

The soup could not have turned out better. It was so good, I ate the whole batch over the course of an afternoon. Mine was a little light on the prawns because I'm still using frozen prawns in things (will I ever learn?) but tasted amazing. It was soothing thanks to the coconut cream and the warmth, but it was clearing because of the heat and the sourness. It was the perfect pick-me-up.

Tom Kha Gai
Hot and Sour Prawn Coconut Soup
Adapted from Mons Ban Sabai Cooking School Recipe

Handful of frozen prawns
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 lemongrass stalk about 6-8cm long, cleaned and lightly bruised
2 shallots lightly crushed
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
4 thin slices galangal
3 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
fish sauce to taste
lime juice to taste
sugar to taste
tom yum paste
chilli paste

Separate the coconut cream and coconut milk. Heat the coconut milk and stock over medium heat until simmering. Add the lemongrass, shallots, garlic and galangal and simmer for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, kaffir lime leaves, coconut cream and prawns and keep cooking until prawns are pink. Add fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and tom yum paste to taste. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

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