Read more: Dinner Tonight: Tom Kha Gai
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 24 ounces homemade chicken stock (or 12 ounces store-bought)
- 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 5 to 6 fresh bird's eye chilies
- 12 ounces coconut milk
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced against the grain
- 12 ounces canned straw mushrooms, drained
- 4 to 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh galangal, thinly sliced
- Fish sauce
- Fresh lime juice
- Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
If using good quality homemade stock, pour the 24 ounces into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until reduced by half. Skip this step if using store bought stock.
Using a mortar and pestle, smash the lemongrass pieces until fragrant but still hanging together. Remove and set aside. Add the chilies, and smash them a bit, too. Set those aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the coconut milk, chicken stock, lime leaves, lemongrass, and galangal. Turn the heat to medium, and bring liquid up to between 160 and 180 °F. Make sure it does not come to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and chicken, and adjust heat to make sure it is between 160 and 180 °F. Stir occasionally, and let mixture cook until chicken is done.
Add the chiles, and turn off the heat. Stir well. Add fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Garnish soup with cilantro.