Here’s the recipe that I will generally follow: (see adjustments after the recipe)
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
- 1 1″ piece ginger, peeled
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, or use 1 tablespoon lime zest and 1/4 cup lime juice
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
- 8 ounces shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)
- N/A cilantro leaves with tender stems
- N/A lime wedges
- Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4″ pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8-10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.
- Add chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20-25 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar.
- Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges.
I have made this several times, and usually tweak it to suit our tastes. Here are my adjustments:
I will sometimes use only 4 or 5 cups of chicken stock, without adjusting other ingredients, based on how much I want to make. Also, add only one tbs of fish sauce, then taste it to see if you want to add another. Anna likes the ginger, so I usually mince or chop it and leave it in. I use the lime juice and zest and I don’t typically have lemongrass, so I use a couple splashes of lemon juice. I also use plain, white mushrooms if I can’t find shiitakes or the other exotic ones.
Let us know how it turns out!
Parish (my amazing husband, chef)