I have been a fan of Thai Cooking ever since our visit in Thailand four years ago. And this soup, which is a vegetarian version of the original Tom Kha Gai, is one of my favorite soups of all time. It is spicy (chili and Thai chili paste), sweet (palm sugar), salty (fish sauce) and slightly sour (lime and tomato). Rather than fighting against one another, the flavors complement each other really well. When you make the dish, make sure you do everything by hand, whether it is peeling the lemongrass, squeezing out the lime juice, tearing the lime leaves, or removing the coriander leaves from the stem. Your fingers will smell so fantastic during cooking. In the end, top the soup with coriander leaves and bean sprouts, which will add that additional freshness and crunchiness to the dish.
What you'll need:
8 thin slices (50 g) Galangal
2 small shallots, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, peeled, splited and cut in pieces
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 cup (200 g) oyster mushrooms, or straw mushrooms, or mix of the two
2 small cherry tomatoes, cut into wedges
2-4 red bird-eye chili, split in half, seeds removed
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 small handful of coriander leaves
1 small handful of beansprout
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp palm sugar
How it's made:
- Bring the vegetable stock and coconut milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat.
- Add galangal, shallots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Allow to simmer for 3-5 mins.
- Add fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and sugar. Stir well. Then remove saucepan from heat.
- Adjust the flavor with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to your taste.
- Sprinkle beansprout and coriander leaves on top and serve.