Sunday, June 7, 2009

Asian Style Chicken Soup

I made a batch of chicken stock the other day, and wanted to make chicken soup. But different. So I settled on chicken soup with an Asian flair, employing fish sauce, lime juice, and galangal. I used a variety of sources as inspiration, including this one from Rasa Malaysia, this one from Je Mange le Ville, and this one from Kalyn's Kitchen.

I wasn't sure I was going to like the soup, since it was almost completely foreign to my palate. I'm still slightly convinced that I don't like coconut milk, and I'm just recently coming around to mushrooms. But, fortunately, and surprisingly, I loved it. So did Hubby.

Asian Style Chicken Soup

2 cloves garlic, minced
a few slices of ginger, minced
a few slices of galangal, minced
dried Thai chiles (substitute chiles de arbol, or hot sauce)
2 handfuls of brown mushrooms, sliced
zest of 1 large lime
1 can coconut milk
chicken broth, maybe 4 cups
fish sauce, about 2T
soy sauce
juice of several limes
large handful of snap peas, cut in half
handful of bean sprouts
1-2 cups of shredded chicken
1/2 t cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 t coriander seeds, crushed
green onions, sliced thin
cilantro, chopped
hot sauce, optional

Saute the ginger, garlic and galangal in the oil for a few minutes. If I had been able to find lemongrass, I would've thrown some in (minced super-fine) at this point. Add the chiles (broken in half), and the mushrooms, and saute a few minutes longer. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, lime zest, shredded chicken, cumin and coriander, and bring to a bare simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. (I used whole cumin and coriander, crushed, in a tea ball, but feel free to use ground and/or add directly to the broth.)

Just before serving, add in the pea pods and the bean sprouts, and season to taste with lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. You'll need more than you think. Cook until the veggies are done to your liking.

I served the soup ladled over white rice, but brown rice or any kind of Asian noodle would probably work too. Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and hot sauce if you'd like.


Bob said...

It's possible to come around to mushrooms? I still think they just taste like dirt. I said so to my sister in law once and she responded with "No no! They are all unique and delicious! What's wrong with you?" I never understood that until I tried to get my girlfriend into wine... heh.

That soup sounds good though, other than the mushrooms. ;)

Vicki said...

Hey Bob - I think I like mushrooms most when they're disguised with butter and cheese, or some other kind of yummy fat. In this soup's case, it was probably the coconut milk :)

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