Tom Gai Kaa Onn (Chicken Coconut Cream Soup)

Yield:
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients
  • One 4-inch piece young galangal or 5-inch piece fresh young ginger
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 sprigs cilantro stems with roots, minced (1/4 cup), plus 4 sprigs cilantro
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, green parts and hard outer layers removed, 2 stalks minced, 2 stalks sliced into 3-inch lengths and lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Thai white peppercorns, dry roasted and finely ground
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 4 cups fresh unsweetened coconut cream and milk (combined to make consistency of whole milk)
  • One 3-pound chicken, rinsed, thoroughly dried, and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves, hard center stems removed, or zest of two limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (namm pla)
  • 7 fresh bird chiles or 5 to 6 serrano chiles
  • 1 to 2 limes, sliced into wedges
Directions
  • Using a mortar and pestle, pound half of the galangal with the garlic into a paste. One at a time, add the cilantro stems and roots, miced lemongrass, ground peppercorns, and shallots in sequence, adding each new ingredient only after the previous one is pureed and incorporated into a fine paste. Set aside, or transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.

  • In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the coconut cream and milk to a gentle boil over medium heat. Do not overheat or it will curdle. Add the galangal paste and stir well, then add the chicken and bring to a boil. Add the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass stalks, sea salt, fish sauce, the remaining galangal and the chiles, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked.

  • Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the cilantro sprigs, and serve with the lime wedges.


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