Thai Coconut Chicken Soup/ Farmshare Cooking weeks 8 and 9



In addition to all of the delicious fruits and vegetables listed above, I bought a share of organic chicken through my CSA this summer.  The chicken is delicious, although it is piling up in my freezer a bit.  I will probably not get around to cooking most of it until the fall when both my husband and I are finally in town at the same time and it stops being so hot in NYC.  Here’s a list of all the chicken recipes I plan to make…

Here is what I managed to make this summer

I was inspired to make coconut chicken soup this summer because my Cambodian neighbors put their giant kaffir lime tree out in the front yard of our building to sun for the summer.  Kaffir lime leaves are crucial ingredient in this soup and, although I can acquire them in NYC, they are really not cheap.  My neighbor, Jack, was delighted when I asked if I could steal a few leaves for coconut chicken soup.  His daughter is pictured above holding some lime leaves.  I told Jack about the recipe I had planned and he approved and reassured me that using jalapeno instead of Thai chilis was not the end of the world.  They also grow little birds eye chilis in the front yard but they were not ready yet.

I have tried many different recipes for this beloved soup over the years and this one is by far the best.  I am sure that the really fresh lime leaves helped but I also find the method very straight forward and the resulting broth exceptionally flavourful.  My mum is a big fan of this soup and she complained bitterly when the restaurant near her house that made it to her liking closed years a ago.  Mum, if you make this soup with ginger instead of galanga, I think it will suite your tastes!


adapted from My New Roots

  • 10 cilantro plants with their roots
  • 6-7 stalks lemongrass
  • 3 shallots
  • 2-4 bird’s eye Thai chilies or jalapeno if that is all you can find
  • a knob of fresh or frozen galanga root (or ginger) or 5 0r 6 slices dry galanga
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 5 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly

1. Wash the cilantro well in a bowl full of water, swishing the greens and roots around until completely free of dirt. Remove the upper portion of the stems, and setting them aside for garnish.  Put the cleaned roots into a medium saucepan. Cut the lemongrass off where the white base portion ends and discard the tops. Pound the lemongrass bases until they are cracked and open and put them in the pot. Peel and slice the shallots and put them in the pot. Add the chilis to the pot (slice them first if they are large).  If you are using fresh or frozen galanga root, pound it until it cracks. If you are using ginger, slice it.  Put the galanga (fresh, frozen or dry) or ginger in the pot. Snip the lime leaves into smaller pieces and put it in the pot. Peel and smash the garlic and throw it in the pot too.

2. Pour the coconut milk and sugar into the pot with the aromatics and bring to a very gentle simmer.  Cook for about 15 minutes, with a lid on.  If you are using dry galanga increase the simmer time to 30 minutes.  While the coconut milk simmers, clean and slice the mushrooms.

3. Strain soup through a sieve into another saucepan. Discard all solids. Add the sliced mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, soup stock and chicken breasts.  Bring soup up to a simmer again and cook until the chicken is done. Do not boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more lime juice or fish sauce if you wish.  Serve immediately with cilantro leaves.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenda says:

    Yes! Must find kafir lime leaves!! I love this soup😃

  2. Glenda says:

    Yes, you’ve done it. This soup has that yummy Royal Thai Flavor. I made this for Bud last nigh and we loved it!

    1. Yay! I thought that this recipe captured it! I’m so happy!

  3. Glenda says:

    I made this for Christmas Eve lunch. So good!

  4. Glenda says:

    Made this for New Years Day. So,delicious and warming!

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