Tom Ka Kai

2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon sliced kaffir lime leaves

1 (2-inch) piece of lemongrass, bruised

1 (1-inch) piece ginger, sliced thinly

4 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

5 ounces coconut milk

2–4 Thai chilies (to taste), slightly crushed

  • In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the broth on medium. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, and lime juice.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil, add the chicken and coconut milk, and bring to a boil again.

  • Reduce the heat, add the chilies, and cover; let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Remove the chilies and the lemongrass stalk with a slotted spoon before serving.

Handling Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a very popular ingredient in Thai and other Asian recipes. It can usually be found fresh in most well-stocked supermarkets and can be stored in the fridge for about 3 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months. Many recipes call for lemongrass to be “bruised.” This helps add more flavor to your recipe. If you like the strong flavor, feel free to bruise lemongrass even when not called for in a recipe.

Serves 4–6

This soup can be served as is or ladled over mounds of rice in individual serving bowls. I love it with some cooked noodles thrown in.

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