TOM KHA GAI used to be my favourite thai dish. I used to get it everytime EAT had it in their soup menu. I haven’t had in since becoming a vegetarian though – as the name says – it conterns chicken. TOM means SOUP or COOKED, KHA means galangal root and GAI means chicken. Then last weekend I went to Warsaw and saw it in the menu at SUSHIZUSHI. This restaurant is a cool sushi place in the center the city. I asked if they could make it without chicken – and they could – it was amazing! And I knew I had to make it at home and blog about it, so everyone of you could try it. It is very easy and quick to make.
You might have to go to the local thai shop to get galangal root, but everything else should be stocked in the local supermarket. I also use thai baby eggplants – but they can be left out.
I surfed the internet for recipes on the dish to get the most euthentic dish and get the small tricks from the thai chefs. I then adabted it to my lifestyle, so it would be 100% vegan – here goes:
1 can of coconut milk
4 tbsp of coconut manna/coconut cream
600-700 ml. vegetable stock – preferably yeast free
4 spring onions
1 sweet red pepper or red bell pepper
7-8 mushrooms – I dont recommend eating mushrooms more than once or twice a month because it’s a fungi
3-4 thai eggplants (optional)
1 thumb size galangal root (get it in you local thai/chinese shop)
2 sticks of lemon grass
Small handful coriander – you can include the stalk
5-6 kefir lime leaves – frozen is okay
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
Noodles if you like.
Galangal: Wash the root and cut into paperthin slices. Bash with a meat mallet to bring out the flavour
Chili: cut in the very thin slices
Lemon grass – cut into 3 pieces and bash once with meat mallet
Coriander: Use the leaves and stalk. coursely chop. Coriander is one of the herbs where you can use the stalk as it is not bitter like other herb stalks.
Kefir lime leaves: Cut in half – you need to be able to see it in the soup to take them out before serving. Bash a few times with the meat mallet.
Spring onions: Finely slices
Bring the stock to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and add coconut milk and manna/cream if you have that. Make sure the soup is lump free before adding any other ingredients. Add lime/lemon juice, galangal, kefir lime leaves, lemon grass, chili (leave some for garnish) and spring onions.
Let simmer for 10 mins while you preper the rest of the veggies.
Carrots: finely sliced
Red pepper: Cut in 1-2 cm thin slices
Mushrooms: Cut each into 8 pieces
Thai eggplants: cut into 8 pieces
Now add all the veggies to the soup and simmer for another 5 mins.
Take out the lime leaves and lemon grass before serving – use a large spoon with holes.
Serve! Add noodles if you like.