Tom Kha Gai (a Swindian version)

So… there are probably as many versions of Tom Kha Gai as there are coconut trees in the world, and I am aware that mine isn’t fully authentic. I lacked lemongrass, holy Thai basil, curry paste… so let’s just call it a Swindian chicken and coconut soup, and leave it at that!

I love this soup because it’s easy to make, incredibly comforting, and can be bulked up with jasmine rice, but is equally delicious without (if you’re trying to cut down on carbs). You can also swop the chicken for tofu or prawn, for the vegetarians / pescatarians among you. It keeps for a few days, but the night I made it, I enjoyed it whilst watching the original Jurassic Park (how amazing is it??). Note: I would not necessarily recommend this for the jumpy amongst you… I’m pretty glad I had finished my bowl before the action began!

Serves 4 (prep time: around 30 minutes)

For the soup:

  • 1 can coconut milk (400ml)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • A pinch of chili flakes (depending on your spice tolerance, you can adjust this – my chili flakes are incredibly spicy!)
  • Juice of 1.5 limes
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Other ingredients:

  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped (green and white bits)
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 300g diced chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Marinate the chicken in the flour, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Place all soup ingredients in a large pot and bring it to the boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer.

In the meantime, chop the other veggies. After 10-15 minutes of simmering, add the red pepper and mushrooms and let simmer for another 5 minutes.

Then add the chicken and spring onion and let simmer for another 5 minutes. All done!

Serve with jasmine rice on the side or simply fill a huge bowl if you’re going carb-free.