Monday, May 13, 2013

Thai Coconut Soup

This coming Friday I am graduating with a master in public policy.  Sometimes when I tell people what I am studying, they ask me what that means.  I like to think it is what everyone would study if they knew such an amazing field of study existed.

Last Friday I made Thai coconut soup based on a recipe I watched on youtube.  In Thailand it is called Tom Kha Gai.  It is reassuring that people in Thailand actually eat coconut soup.  I learned this Saturday that Belgians eat waffles too.  Another fun fact is that the Smurfs originated in Belgium.  This Saturday was EU embassy open house day in DC.

This is a useful recipe if you happen to have fish sauce laying around.  The recipe states that it serves two as a main course, but both of the individuals would need to be pretty hungry.  The soup required 2 cups of chicken broth, 4 cubed chicken thighs, 2 cans of coconut milk, 10 ounces of white button mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, the juice and zest of 3 limes, 2 teaspoons of ginger, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.

I first thoroughly cooked the chicken in boiling chicken broth.  A picture of raw chicken in broth is a little unappetizing.  I added the chicken before the broth was boiling to prevent any hot broth from splattering.

I do not own a zester.  I deserve extra points for tediously zesting three limes with a knife.  

After the chicken was cooked, I added light coconut milk.  Coconut milk comes from the meat of a coconut.  It is saturated fat.  That is the type of fat that raises your blood pressure, so don't eat this soup everyday.

I added the mushrooms, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, lime zest, and red pepper flakes at the same time as the heart clogging coconut milk.

These are some superb action shots.

This is a good mid squeeze photo; I could be a sports photographer.  The limes added an appreciated punch.  If you are not crazy about limes, you should not add all three.  Through osmosis I learned that if you have hard limes or lemons, you can microwave them a little so they render more juice.

I added more red pepper than the measly amount shown.  

I cooked the coconut soup until it was hot.  I garnished my serving with a healthy amount of cilantro.  Tasty!  The cilantro looks a little wilted, but that is the fate of fresh herbs in hot soup.  I ate this the following day as well.  The soup separated a little the second day, but a little stirring and microwaving was all that was required to set the world right again.

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