Tom Kha Gai [serves 3-4]
2″ piece fresh galangal, or 5 slices dried galangal soaked in 1 c boiling water for 10 minutes then drained [may substitute equal parts ginger]
6 Kaffir lime leaves [or zest of 1 lime]
3 stalks lemongrass, white part only, quartered [or zest of 1 lemon]
2 c coconut milk
2 c chicken stock
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
1 t finely chopped red chilli or serrano pepper
1/4 c lime juice
2 T fish sauce
1 t soft brown sugar
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 to 2/3 c Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced [~ 4 to 6 mushrooms, depending on size]
1-2 scallions, green part only, sliced thinly on the diagonal
Peel the fresh galangal and cut it into slices. Mix the galangal, Kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass with the coconut milk and stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken strips and chilli, and simmer for 8 minutes. Mix in the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar.
Serve with a few cilantro leaves and scallion slices floating on top of the soup.
Adapted from The Complete Asian Cookbook.