It would be difficult to say which is the more popular soup of Thailand-this or Chicken and Coconut Soup with Galangal, Tom Kha Gai . Even people who do not speak the Thai language know these by their Thai names. If this soup is one of your favorites, make a batch of Tom Yum Paste and have it ready in the fridge. Then a bowl of this soup is only minutes away-boil the water, dissolve the spicy paste and cook the prawns.
- 500 g (1 lb) raw prawns
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 2 litres (4 pints/8 cups) water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 stems lemongrass, white portion only, thinly sliced
- 6 slices fresh galangal
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, whole
- 3 fresh red chillies, sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- chopped red chilli (optional)
Shell the prawns, reserving the heads and shells. Dry the shells on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the shells and heads until they turn red. Add water, salt, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, chillies and garlic. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and reserve the stock. Devein the prawns, drop them into the stock and simmer for a few minutes until they are cooked. Add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste, remove from the heat at once and serve sprinkled with the coriander and spring onions and a little extra red chilli if desired.