Tom kha gai is the cousin of pad thai. It’s also the second most well-known Thai dish besides pad thai in America. When translated into English, its name means chicken galangal soup. This soup is perfect for those chilly days as winter turns closer to spring. The chicken that serves as the protein is poached in a broth made of coconut milk. Galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves are the other essential ingredients. How can you make it at home? It’s time to find out.
Easy to Make
For one thing, tom kha gai is surprisingly easy to make. When you want to learn something new, especially when it comes to cooking, you might feel intimidated, especially when it comes to a dish that might not be from your home culture. Concentrating the chicken stock and using chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts makes it much easier to make, as well. Reducing the broth means you can make it in your own kitchen and have it feel home-made in next to no time. Poaching chicken thighs instead of breasts prevents the chicken from being overcooked by accident. The broth and coconut milk come together to make something magical.
Let’s now turn our attention to the ingredients you need to use. Galangal is similar to ginger that is much more aromatic than you might expect. It’s spicy but not intensely so. Younger galangal has a thinner peel which makes it easier to cook and add to this dish. Lemongrass is an herb that is essential to most examples of Thai cuisine. Fresh lemongrass is much better, even though lemongrass paste works – it just won’t be the same. Lemon and lime make a good pair, whether in soda or in something you eat. Lime leaves and lime peels are both great additions to tom kha gai. Don’t forget about the straw mushrooms! They’re the final touch, and you can use them as a substitute for noodles and in stir-fry as well.
Serving and Enjoying
Finally, it’s time to finish up and serve it at your next dinner party. Leaving out the rice is something you can do, but again, it wouldn’t be the same. If you don’t want it to be too hot and spicy, you can also remove the chilies before it hits the table.
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