This Thai Coconut Soup is simple yet flavorful. Coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, ginger, lemongrass, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce work in unison to provide subtle, yet sophisticated flavors.
After a bit of research, consisting of sampling field trips to a couple of Thai restaurants, and after preparation of multiple test batches, I came up with a version that I think stands up to the test. The soup is unassuming yet flavorful and is very easy to make. As in many Asian soups, the broth base is the star of the dish with many layers of flavor. Ginger, lemongrass, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce are the flavoring agent for the coconut milk and chicken broth base in this soup. My version is finished off simply with thin chicken and shiitake mushroom strips. The restaurant versions I recently sampled used button mushrooms, but I personally think shiitake is a better aesthetic and textural choice for this dish. Finally, for added flavor and color, cilantro is added as a garnish.
One discovery I made during the testing of this recipe is that canned coconut milk can vary in consistency where the milk solid layer in one can may be granular while it is creamier in the next. If you open a can where the top white solid layer is granular, don't panic. It is perfectly fine to use and will not affect the taste of the soup. The finished product will not be creamy looking but will taste just great! But, to play it safe, buy an extra can of the coconut milk for backup if you want the soup to look perfect.
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