Tag Archives: galangal

Tom Kha Gai

Sawadee Ka!

Tom Kha Gai, aka Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, is one of my absolute favourites! Now that we are back in Phuket I thought it was about time I made it. I first discovered this soup when Dwayne and I visited Phuket in 2007. I gotta say, I was a little reserved about trying a coconut soup… it didn’t look that appetising, but it was delicious! So flavoursome in fact, that I sat there tasting it and deciphering the flavours so I would be able to make it myself when I got back home. I think my tastebuds did a good job of recognising the ingredients and my Tom Kha Gai is delicious….. if I do say so myself! However, I don’t have a recipe to share with you as I cook it by taste every time I make it, and I forgot to write it down as I cooked it this time for the blog… doh! But I do remember what goes in it and what I did so I will explain it the best I can.

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

This is what I did….

I heated 1 cup of chicken stock and added about 8 kaffir lime leaves bruised and ripped apart, two sticks of lemon grass – the hard part remove and the inner white part bashed with a mallet; a couple of crushed garlic cloves, a 2cm piece of galangal, thinly sliced, a 2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced and some chopped chilli.

I simmered it for 1/2 hour, then I added some chopped chicken and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the coconut milk (approx 250ml) and a handful of enoki mushrooms*. I simmered the soup for another 5 minutes and then added fish sauce, to taste, and a handful of coriander.

To serve, I ladled the soup into two large deep bowls and garnished with some more chopped coriander.

It is so easy to make and delicious!

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

Notes:

When I make Tom Kha Gai for Dwayne and I, I do not remove the chunks of ginger, galangal etc when I serve it, as this is how I have had it served to me most of the time in Thailand. However, when I have prepared this soup for guests I have strained the soup before I add the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce and coriander.

*Shitake, or oyster mushrooms are more often used in Tom Kha Gai but enoki mushrooms were what I had at the time.

Enjoy!

Why don’t you pin this recipe so you will always know where to find it!

Tom Kha Gai - Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

 

 

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Beef Rendang

One of our favourites, which we ate in abundance while cruising through Indonesia, is the beef rendang. Rendang is a spicy meat dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia. [wikipedia] This dry style of curry is sometimes called caramelised beef curry because of the ‘reduction’ style of cooking.

Beef Rendang with coconut milk, chilli and kaffir lime leaves

Prior to refrigeration technology, this style of cooking enabled preservation of large amounts of meat. When the Minangkabau farmers killed a cow for a special occasion it was often turned into Rendang. Rendang provided a way to make the beef last for weeks in Indonesia’s hot tropical climate. For rendang the meat is cooked for hours with coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, which includes ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, shallot and chilli. This paste has antimicrobial properties and serves as natural organic preservatives. 

For my rendang you will need the following ingredients….

2 small brown onions, chopped
8 asian shallots, chopped
10 cloves of garlic, chopped
2cm piece turmeric, chopped
1 tsp salt
15 dried long red chillies, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained
1 tsp ground coriander
2-3 tablespoons oil
1kg beef, cubed
5cm piece of galangal,
grated 2 sticks of lemongrass, (soft white only), finely chopped
2 sticks lemongrass (white only), smashed with the flat side of a knife
8 lime leaves
500ml coconut milk

Cooking rendang is a simple but lengthy process. My instructions are as follows…

Place the onions, shallots, garlic, turmeric, salt, chillies and coriander into a blender (or mortal & pestle) and process until smooth. Set aside the spice paste.

Grinding the spice mix for the Beef Rendang

Heat the oil in a pan and brown the beef in batches. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves to the pan and fry for a minute in oil, remove and add to the beef.

On medium-low heat fry the spice paste for a few minutes, then add the beef and the galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 – 4 hours.

It is ready once the curry sauce has reduced and the oil is separating from the rest of the curry. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy the taste of Indonesia. This rendang is delicious ‘if I do say so myself’!

Beef Rendang - the oil separating from the curry.
Beef Rendang – the oil separating from the curry.