Although we prefer the richer, more complex flavor of regular coconut milk, light coconut milk can be substituted for one or both cans. Don’t be tempted to use jarred or dried lemon grass - their flavor is characterless. For a spicier soup, add additional red curry paste to taste. Jared Thai red curry paste is a great replacement for hard-to-find ingredients, as it contains many of the flavors commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisine (such as galangal and kaffir lime leaves) in a super-concentrated form.
- 1 t vegetable oil
- 3 stalks lemon grass, bottom 5 inches only, trimmed and sliced thin
- 3 large shallots, chopped coarse
- 8 sprigs fress cilantro, chopped coarse
- 3 T fish sauce
- 4 c low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk
- 1 T sugar
- 1/2# white mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1# boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lge breasts), halved lengthwise and sliced on the bias into 1/8-inch-thick pieces
- 3 T juice from 2 limes
- 2 t Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 c loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 fresh Thai, serrano or jalapeño chiles, seeds and ribs removed, chiles sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add the lemon grass, shallots, chopped cilantro sprigs, and 1 T of the fish sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until just softened but not browned, 2 to 5 min.
Stir in the chicken broth and 1 can of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 10 min. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids in the strainer. (At this point, the soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.)
Return the strained soup to a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining can of coconut milk and the sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat.
Whisk the lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 T fish sauce together, then stir into the soup. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with the cilantro leaves, chiles, and scallions. Serve with the lime wedges.
This is delicious!
from America’s Test Kitchen “The Best International Recipe” cookbook.