Dtom Khaa Gai
As I’ve said before Thailand is like a second home to me. But what stands out are my memories of the aromas of their food and my need to recreate them once again in my home.
I used to live very close to the Khlong Toey market which is more than a market, it was more like a small village in the middle of Bangkok. I visited this market at least once a week as it was only a five minute walk from my home. Markets in Bangkok became a piece of heaven for me, where I could get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A place where all my senses were alert and I could walk slowly, look around, touch, taste and smell fruits, herbs, spices and so on.
This soup recipe brings all the flavours and smells of Thailand as well as their attention to detail when serving any any dish.
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 3 red shallots, sliced thinly
- 4 stalks lemon grass, bruised
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
- 2 coriander roots, scraped and bruised
- 3 bird’s eye chillies
- 4 pieces of galangal, bruised
- 5 to 6 oyster or Maitake mushrooms, cut in halves
- 200 grams skinless chicken breast, sliced
- A handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- 6 dried red chillies, fried
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar
- Combine the chicken stock, coconut milk, and coconut cream in a wok and bring to the boil on a medium heat. Add the shallots, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, coriander roots, bird’s eye chillies, and galangal. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let the liquid infuse all the herbs and spices.
- Season with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
- Add the mushrooms and chicken. Simmer for 5 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked but still tender.
- With a spoon take out the coriander roots, galangal and lemon grass before serving the soup.
- To serve, spoon the soup in small bowls and garnish with the coriander leaves and fried dried red chillies.
- There are no substitutions for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Trying to substitute herbs, and spices in Thai cooking for me it is definitely a NO NO.
- Do bruise all the ingredients mentioned before, this helps the herbs and roots to release all their aromas and flavours.
- Hen of the woods mushrooms are also known as Maitake, which translates to “dancing mushrooms”. Nice name!