Monday, April 05, 2010

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

This soup was really delicious! I got the recipe from the Oprah Network. The only improvement I’d make would be to use fewer mushrooms and slice them really finely – perhaps something like shitake or enoki mushrooms would be better. The chicken pieces shouldn’t be too big, either. The soup is really easy to make, and you can adjust the spice level as you wish. I knew that green curry paste would be too spicy for me, so I used some mild curry paste I had on hand, and it was perfect. I didn’t bother with the jalapeño, the tomato or the toasted coconut for garnish, but I’ll keep them in this adapted recipe anyway in case you want to use them.

4 cups chicken stock
5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp green curry paste or mild curry paste
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
½ tsp whole black peppercorns
¾ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems, plus additional ½ cup chopped for garnish
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
¾ cup thinly sliced shallots
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into ¼-inch strips
2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp brown sugar
1 jalapeño , sliced into rings (optional)
1 small tomato , seeded and diced, for garnish (optional)
½ cup freshly shaved coconut or unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted, for garnish (optional)

In a large heavy-bottom pot over high heat, combine chicken stock, garlic, ginger, curry paste, coriander, cumin, peppercorns and cilantro.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Strain broth over a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Return broth to pot; add coconut milk, shallots, mushrooms and chicken. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and jalapeño, if desired; stir until sugar is dissolved, then add mixture to soup. Garnish with tomato, coconut shavings and cilantro; serve hot.

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