Tom kha gai is a Thai, wonderfully freshly spiced soup. It is traditionally made with chicken breast, but can also be eaten vegetarian style. Then substitute the chicken with tofu.
Look for fresh ingredients in a Thai or Asian market or such section in your grocery store.
The soup can be easily stored for several days in the refrigerator.
Origin of Tom kha gai
This is a Thai chicken soup, making use of the fresh herbs and coconuts that grow so easily in South East Asia. Tom Yam soup is a much more spicy soup, not to be confused with tom kha gai, but also loved by many.
1lbs (454 g)chicken breast (or tofu for vegi version)
2pints (1 liter)water
1pint (500 g)coconut milk
3-7halvedthai red chillies
7.1oz (200 g)button mushrooms
1oz (30 g)galangal (Thai ginger root)
6-10kaffer (lime) leaves
4stalksof lemon grass
coriander leaves for garnish
Peel and finely chop the galangal, chop the lemon grass into 5 cm pieces, slice the shallots and tear the kaffer leaves in half. Crush the coriander roots. Cut all the chillies in halves and remove seeds if you do not want to eat too spicy
Immerse the tomatoes for 1 minutes in boiling hot water and then rinse them with cold water. Peel them and cut in 6 or 8 pieces each
Place the water and ¾ of the coco nut milk in a large pot and add the chicken powder, the shallots, chillies, tomatoes, coriander roots, galangal, kaffer leaves and lemon grass. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes
Add the juice of 2 limes, the fish sauce, the sugar, the sliced mushrooms, the remainder of the coconut milk, and the cut chicken breast or the tofu; bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
Then check the taste, add more lime juice if needed and simmer for 2 more minutes