There is an old saying in the culinary world, which goes- Soup is the song of the hearth & home, so to be a true food lover you have to get your soup right!
Today we are focusing on Coconut curry soup, popularly known as the Tom Kha soup ( Thai soup). But the history of this soup has travelled many continents than just the Asian continent. Food historians have often said the Thai version we have now is a mixture of recipes that travelled across the continents many years ago. Let’s take a closer look on how Foodism– the food recipe blog looks at the famous coconut curry soup!
Now, only a handful of regions in the world embrace the use of coconuts in their cuisine as much as South-East Asia. From laksa (the spicy rice noodle and coconut milk soup) to the nasi uduk (steamed rice cooked in coconut milk), one can quite literally spend the entire day here eating dishes with coconut in them!
The origins of coconuts can be established with some certainty, but the origins of the coconut-based dishes most commonly associated with the region are much harder to pin down. Here, factors such as shifting political boundaries, colonial rule, and historical conquests come into play.
The earliest officially written record of the soup is in 1890. A Thai recipe book featuring coconut milk-based soups with duck as the original choice of protein and chilli jam relish on top. But this is after the French-Siamese war, the earliest records date back to 1707 A.D, in the kingdom of Lao (present-day Vietnam/Cambodia) under the rule of Lan Xang Hom Khao who introduces the idea of coconut curry soups!
Now the cultures and the recipe of the soup have been edited and omitted a million times, bringing us to our present-day Tom Kha curry coup. Let us see the recipe for this coconut curry soup!
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 chicken thigh cut into cubes
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 6-8 thin slices of galangal
- 5 lime leaves
- 3-4 Thai chillies, bruised
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 150 g oyster mushrooms
- 2 ½ Tbsp lime juice
- Chopped green onion and/or cilantro, for garnish
- Jasmine rice, for serving
- Boil the chicken stock and add the extra chicken. You can also add ginger-garlic paste to enhance the taste. Simmer the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken looks tender.
- Put in the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, coconut milk, chillies, about half of the fish sauce, and sugar. Boil for 7 minutes to infuse the flavours.
- Now you can add in the mushrooms and cook in the boiling mixture. You can also cook these separately and add them later.
- Take a taste test to adjust salt, fish sauce, pepper or chilli. Turn off the heat and add a few drops of lemon juice.
- Garnish the soup with finely chopped cilantro.
- You can serve it with jasmine rice as part of a larger Thai meal!
You can also add noodles to the soup and extra protein to increase the portion of the soup! Now that you have the perfect recipe for this soup, let’s look at a few benefits as well. Coconut curry soups are excellent for blood sugar regulation. They also help in weight loss, regulating diets and are often a complete meal by themselves. The galangal in the soup has anti-inflammatory properties & also boosts the immune system. So overall this soup is extremely nourishing!