Tom Kha Recipe (Creamy Thai Coconut Soup)
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 cups water or vegetable stock
2 stalks lemongrass*
6 kaffir lime leaves* (lightly bruised to release the flavor)
6 slices galangal* (Thai ginger) (use regular ginger if you cannot find galangal
2-8 bird’s eye chilies (lightly pounded, amount depending on your love of spice - be careful with these!)
½ cup cubed firm tofu
1 medium onion, chopped into large pieces
1 14 oz can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups quartered crimini mushrooms
1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped into large pieces (broccoli, carrots, baby corn, bok choy, for example)
3 tablespoon soy or fish sauce*
2 tablespoon lime juice, to taste
2 stalks scallion or garlic chives, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
*These ingredients are available at Whole Foods Market or at your local Asian market
1. Cut off the top, woody part of the lemongrass stalks and discard. Cut the remaining white part into 2-inch pieces and bruise with the back of a large knife.
2. Bring the coconut milk and water or stock to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.
3. Add the lemongrass, galangal (or ginger), kaffir lime leaves and chilies. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the onion, mushrooms, tofu and any additional vegetables. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
5. Turn off heat, and stir in the lime juice and fish or soy sauce. Adjust seasoning as desired. Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with scallion or garlic chives and cilantro leaves.