Tom Kha Gai For a Sick Young Guy
Today's post will be short and sweet. Yesterday I was called to school to pick up Little Shack, who was not feeling well but had insisted on going to school. He didn't want to miss the christmas party but by the time I got there he was lying on the couch with a blanket over him while his classmates made merry all around him. Poor bugger was burning up and is even worse today so it's actually a perfect day for some nourishing, delicious soup. I was planning to make something else but I changed my mind. Today's soup is only about comfort food. Something that will tempt him to eat, something nutritious and filling enough but light at the same time.
Tom Kha Gai Soup is so simple to make. It doesn't really require a recipe, per say, just a list of ingredients:
about 5 cups of chicken stock
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kaffir lime leaves
your choice of vegetables
a can of coconut milk
I brought about 5 cups of chicken stock to a boil in a pot and added about 4 tlbl of minced lemon grass. I threw in two skinless, boneless chicken breast and let it simmer for about 6 or 7 minutes and removed the chicken and set it aside to cool down a bit. While the chicken cooled down, I added a clove of minced garlic (this is also where I would normally add some finely chopped thai chili but a sick kid with a sore throat is NOT going to appreciate the slow burn of the tiny birdseye chili so I left it out completely. If you don't have a sick 11 year old at home, add some chili to taste).
If you have them, add 2 or 3 kaffir lime leaves and simmer for a few minutes. This is when you get two forks and shred your chicken breasts into nice long threads of chicken like you would for tacos. You can chop it if you like but I really don't like the look or the feel of chopped chicken in soup, especially this soup. You could also add a handful of shelled, deveined shrimp as well.
I added the shredded chicken back in to the simmering stock along with some broccoli and sliced baby bok choy. Again, these are vegetables that he likes so you do not have use them. You can use mushrooms or a bit of carrot or whatever you like.
Right at the end, pour in 1/2 to 1 full can of coconut milk (again, to taste), about 2 or 3 tbls of fish sauce and the juice of one large lime and let simmer one final minute or so to make sure it comes back to a simmer and then take off the heat, add a big handful of chopped cilantro and serve.
Use the soup to wash down an extra strength tylenol for colds night time, go to bed and call me in the morning.