Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe
This Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe is one of our favorites, and it’s quick and easy enough to make any night of the week.
There’s a fantastic sushi /hibachi/thai restaurant just outside of Brevard, NC that we enjoy from time to time. Over the weekend headed there for dinner, where Randy ordered a bowl of coconut soup with shrimp which reminded me that I had not made my version of Coconut Chicken Soup (sometimes known as Tom Kha Gai) in a while. Timing was perfect for making again as our church was having it’s yearly fall festival and soup night, where everyone brings pots of their favorite soup to share. I really do like making soup and usually have trouble deciding what to make to take. But not this time. This Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe was on the menu as soon as I read the bulletin.
If you’ve never had it before, Coconut Chicken Soup is a flavorful soup made with a chicken stock and coconut milk base, along with ginger, lemon grass, a bit of pepper, sometimes mushrooms, and a smidge of fish sauce. Just a smidge. It’s what makes the flavors pop. Really. It’s the umami thing going on. Don’t skip the fish sauce. Don’t diss the fish sauce.
If you’re in a hurry, this tasty soup can be cooked in about 30 minutes. If you have longer, let it linger on low. Soups like to linger. Lingering is a good thing.
A few more Coconut Chicken Soup recipe notes:
- Fresh ginger is readily available in most grocery stores and relatively inexpensive too. Fresh ginger is so very different from the dried ground version, but if fresh is not an option, substitute 2 teaspoons of dried ginger, then adjust to taste before serving. If using fresh ginger, an Asian Spider will work wonders to retrieve it.
- Fresh lemongrass on the other hand can sometimes be hard to find. You can grow your own, hunt it down locally or online, or use a dried version for this recipe. I keep dried lemongrass on hand for this soup as well as for hot tea. It’s lovely. Fresh is best, but dried will do just fine.
- Again, this recipe calls for fish sauce. Yes, it’s strong but no one will ever know it’s in there unless you tell them. It really adds to the fullness of flavor. Remember to refrigerate after opening and you’ll be prepared for your next batch of coconut milk soup.
Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe
A Thai-inspired soup with wonderful flavor. It’s quick and easy to make too.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced*
1 tablespoon dried lemongrass
8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
6 cups chicken stock or broth
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound rotisserie/roasted chicken, shredded
1 3/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (about 1 13.5-ounce can)
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce**
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
optional garnish: chili oil, cilantro leaves and lime wedges
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and lemon grass, stir to toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes.
Add chicken stock, lime juice and pepper flakes; bring to a simmer and simmer for 8-10 minutes. If large pieces of ginger are going to bother you, hunt them down and remove (an Asian spider will help do the job, of course a slotted spoon works too).
Add chicken and simmer for about 4-5 minutes.
Whisk in coconut milk, fish sauce, and cilantro; lower heat and allow to mingle for about 10 minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish as desired with chili oil, cilantro leaves and/or lime wedges.
*Fresh ginger is relatively inexpensive and so very different from dried, but if fresh is not an option, substitute 2 teaspoons of dried ginger, then adjust to taste before serving.
**This recipe calls for very little fish sauce. Yes, it’s strong but no one will ever know it’s in there unless you tell them. It really adds to the fullness of flavor. Remember to refrigerate after opening and you’ll be prepared for your next batch of coconut milk soup.
You may also enjoy these delicious soups:
Originally posted October 30, 2014.