In New York City you can barely walk one block without spotting a Thai restaurant. They are all over the place, and why? Well ,Thai food is simply delicious! The food is intensely regional, using enticingly, aromatic spices, herbs and proteins from their regions.They use fresh herbs, exotic spices, shrimp, fish, chicken, pork, at times coconut milk and the flavors are like no other. The food is fresh, delicious, sweet, sour, salty, spicy, meaty and bitter. Actually real Thai food is pretty healthy, but in the USA they Americanize it for American palates. Their main staple is the sticky rice they grow, eaten with every meal. I just opted for the Thai rice noodles, since I was not in the mood for rice. But you may substitute sticky rice in this recipe for the rice noodles.
So today, I wanted to make my own soup. Yes, I know it is 100 degrees F outside, but I am Czech, and we eat soup year round. Besides I have my A/C on. I am turning this soup into my whole meal. It contains, rice noodles, shiitake mushrooms, chicken pieces and a coconut broth that really provide all I need, still trying to keep it light but as always, delicious.
Now, not all Thai restaurants are the real deal. Some are okay, some are horrible but then you have #AndyRicker restaurants #PokPok that are the real deal! You have to go to either Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, CA or like me, Brooklyn, NY but it definitely is worth the train ride across the river. This “James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence” awarded chef will really dazzle you and your palette with some authentic Thai food. He has been traveling back and forth from the USA to Thailand for over 25 years experimenting with and learning new recipes and their techniques of cooking. But if you cannot get there try this recipe. It is a rather simple recipe to ease into.Besides, trying to purchase authentic Thai ingredients can be very difficult in the US, even in NYC.
Serve this with a light semi-dry white wine (or 2) or rice whiskey and you will feel like you are in Thailand! Enjoy!
Lemongrass Red Thai Curry Coconut Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles
Ingredients: Serves 2
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 thin stalk lemongrass, smashed and cut into 4 long pieces (you will remove these prior to serving)
- 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 1/4 teaspoons fish sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
- salt to season chicken
- 1 13 .5 ounce can coconut milk (not lite)
- 1/4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice; plus 2 thin slices slit in half for garnish
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cut chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon fresh green onion, cut into diagonal 1/2 pieces
- Thai Rice noodles, about 1 cup cooked according to package directions.( khanom chin in Thai)
Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; giving the mixture a good stir to break up the sugar. Season the chicken with some salt and place the chicken pieces into the broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalk pieces. Stir in the lime juice. Place rice noodles in the center of your soup bowls and ladle in the soup making sure to get in the chicken pieces and mushrooms. Garnish with the lime slices, basil and green onions.