RCP: Tom Kha Gai (IOTM)

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RCP: Tom Kha Gai (IOTM)

Postby Paul Winalski » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:47 pm

Another Thai recipe salvaged from the first FLDG. It features the subtle perfume of lemon grass, our current IOTM.

-Paul W.
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This is a coconut milk-based soup with galangal (aka kha) and chicken. Fresh galangal is a close relative of ginger root, but it has a subtler flavor. You could probably substitute fresh ginger for the galangal in this recipe, but it would alter the flavor and you should use only 1/2 the amount called for. I got this recipe from recipezaar. It was posted by Cameron Stillion.

The fresh red chile called for here is the bird pepper, the tiny and very hot Thai kind, about an couple of inches long. You can vary the heat of the dish by increasing or decreasing the number of chiles you use. I used four of them.

Tom Kha Gai (chicken and galangal soup)

1 cup chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk
2 inches fresh galangal root, thinly sliced (crosswise, into rounds, as thin as possible)
1 1/4 lbs boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 tsp fresh red thai chile (about 4), finely chopped
2 TBS fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 tsp lemon grass, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

1) Combine stock and milk in a medium pan. Add galangal to the pan and bring to a boil.

2) Lower heat and simmer approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) Add chicken, lime leaves, lemon grass, and chiles to the mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4) Add fish sauce and brown sugar. Stir.

5) Just before serving, add coriander leaves and stir briefly.
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Re: RCP: Tom Kha Gai (IOTM)

Postby Jenise » Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:50 pm

Paul, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I've never made a Tom Kha Gai, considering how much I like it. I must try this. A question for you: if someone can't get galangal and must substitute ginger, is the replacement ratio 1:1?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Tom Kha Gai (IOTM)

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:07 pm

That's a tough question. Kha is a major ingredient, responsible for most of that wonderful delicate aroma and flavor. It's not going to come out the same if you use ginger. I've always thought fresh ginger to be more forceful than kha, so I'd try half the amount if using ginger. Check it at end of the first simmer (before adding the chicken and other ingredients), and add more ginger if it seems necessary.

-Paul W.

P.S.: You can get fresh kha, and some other Thai produce items, here. Kha comes in two-pound packages. You can wash and peel it, cut it into reasonable chunks, then freeze it. Instead of freezing, I store it in a jar steeped in cheap vodka. Either way it'll keep for months. After it's been in there awhile, you can also use the vodka to add a bit of galangal flavor to other dishes. I use this method to preserve fresh ginger, too.
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Re: RCP: Tom Kha Gai (IOTM)

Postby tsunami » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:24 am

A question for you: if someone can't get galangal and must substitute ginger, is the replacement ratio 1:1?


jenise,

you have to find galgant!

it cant be substituted with ginger.

tom kha = galgant -soup

gai = chicken

the taste of galgant and ginger is different, huge different.


btw.
if you cut the chickenbreast with and not through the fiber, it will be tastier and softer ;-)
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Re: RCP: Tom Kha Gai (IOTM)

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:51 pm

Supplemental note for you exotic ingredient enthusiasts: :)

The brown sugar in this recipe is a substitute for palm sugar. Palm sugar resembles maple sugar in that it is the boiled down sweet sap of a tree, in this case a species of palm. It's sold in cakes or jars in oriental markets, especially Thai markets. Palm sugar doesn't have as distinctive and unique a flavor as maple sugar, but it does have a character all its own. Brown sugar does perfectly well as a substitute, but I prefer to use palm sugar when I can in Tom Kha Gai and Pad Prik Bai Grapao.

-Paul W.
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