A few years ago, I published this watered down version of my favorite Thai soup. I was just learning to experiment with Thai cooking and didn’t have access to the necessary ingredients for this recipe, so I made it with the closest things I could find. That recipe was FINE. It satisfied my craving for this delicious chicken and coconut milk soup, but I recently decided that I wanted to up the ante and do it correctly, with the legit ingredients. I accepted my own challenge and I’m thrilled with the results. The old version tasted good, no doubt. But this recipe tastes AUTHENTIC.
I can’t really explain what makes this soup so good, other than it’s ingredients I don’t usually cook with at home. Please use fresh herbs, it makes all the difference. You can find fresh lemongrass and Thai basil at some grocery stores and at many international grocery markets. Thai basil is not the same as regular basil- make sure you grab the correct ingredient!
I am blessed to have an amazing neighbor that is gifted with a green thumb; she shares fresh herbs with me and I, in turn, share the foods with her. It’s a great exchange and I am grateful for her friendship. I am envious of her ability and patience to garden and someday, I’ll be motivated to do more than just putting fresh herbs into mason jars on my bay window!
Try this recipe and see how it compares to your favorite local Thai restaurant. You might figure out that eating at home is just as good, if not fresher and better!
Crock Pot Tom Kha Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
2 c. vegetable or chicken broth
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 12″ stalk fresh lemongrass, greens removed; bruise the stalk and then cut into 3″ sections
1 2″ fresh ginger root, peeled and slice into 6 quarter-sized slices
1/2 lb fresh oyster mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 T. fish sauce
1 t. sugar
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 t. Thai chili paste
1/4 c. fresh kaffir lime leaves
1/4 c. fresh Thai basil leaves
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
Put all ingredients except cilantro and lime wedges into crock pot and stir. Cook on low for 5 hours. Before serving, remove all kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil leaves, and lemongrass stalks (optional to remove ginger slices, too). When serving, add chopped fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedge on top. Serve with bowl of white rice.