Coconut Milk & Lemongrass Soup
(a tom kha ga of a sort, sans chicken for me)
NOTE: I’m making this on Friday night (I think). I’m giving my first cooking lesson to a friend. I’ll take pictures and update this post.
I love this soup. Its so simple, but so good. I ended up letting the broth steep with the herbs for some time, though this was never intended. I thought it was quite smooth and flavorful. But… I didn’t write it down. Here is what I remember.
This recipe calls for 1 part broth to 1.5 parts coconut milk and some herbs in a pot. It’s that simple. You steep. You strain. So serve with some vegetables. In fact, if you’re trying to find a way to eat more vegetables, I think this is a good start. Though not quit raw, its an easy and tasty way to consume a plethora of veggies in a tasty broth. You could shred some cabbage, kale and other vegetables. Place them in your soup bowl and pour the broth on top.
Now if they would just sell coconut milk in something other than a can.
But… I digress. Lemongrass is rather hard and might be hard to chop with a knife. If you don’t have a food processor, one way to quickly cut the lemongrass is to freeze it first. It’s easier to slice that way, but I feel as though it loses something when you do that. Maybe I’m wrong. The choice is yours.
You can find all of this stuff at your local Thai grocery store/market.
[So… I would double this recipe, but I’m the type to make a lot of broth. The recipe makes about 4 - 5 bowls. I was able to feed about 12=14 people small bowls of soup when I doubled the recipe.]
1 cup of vegetable broth (or chicken broth). Homemade is always best.
1.5 cups of coconut milk
3 - 4 Lemongrass stalks washed well and chopped into rings
1 - 1.5 inch piece of galangal sliced fine
3 - 4 thai bird chillies ripped/torn (if you like very scipy food, chop them up seeds and all)
4 - 5 lime leaves, torn
1 inch piece of ginger chopped fine or grated
.5 - 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Salt to taste at the end
1 - 2 cups of mushrooms. I think I used these simple white button mushrooms, but I think I should use better quality mushrooms in the future. You can use them whole, but I like mine sliced thin.
1/2 - 1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
Boy Choy chopped into fine slivers (I think I used two bok choy stalks)
Bean Sprouts (maybe 2 cups)
1 shallot chopped fine
1 cup finely sliced kale (into strips)
1 green onions stalk, chopped into fine rings or slivers
Perhaps one red pepper sliced into thin strips
Perhaps slices of lime for squeezing
— Seafood (shrimp, etc.)
— Turkey (shredded turkey leg meat + a 1 inch x 3 inch piece of turkey breast per bowl) & thick mushrooms.
— More vegetables
Place the broth in a pot with all of the herbs, peppers, etc., but do not add the coconut milk. I bring my broth to something close to boiling (a gentle bubbling, as opposed to a rolling pot of liquid) and then down to a simmer covered. Let this simmer for 30 minutes or so. I then add the coconut milk and simmer for 30 more uncovered. Add the soy sauce and salt to taste. Normally, you would use a good fish sauce, but I was cooking for vegans as well.
[I was so busy cooking, this simmered too long and cooled on the stove before it was strained.]
After straining the soup, I discarded the herbs, etc.
[I refrigerated mine the night before my dinner.]
At this point there are a number of ways you can make the soup.
If you just want vegetables, place the broth back in a pot and add the mushrooms. Simmer until hot enough to serve.
In the meantime… In a bowl, combine all the garnish ingredients and set aside. In theory, it might be nice to squeeze a little lime juice over this. Maybe a quarter or a lime or half. Anyway… Simply combine and toss well.
If your only want vegetables, simply place the garnish in a bowl and pour the hot broth over the top. Enjoy.
If you like seafood, add it to the broth. Place the strained broth in the pot and bring to a boil. Add the desired (cleaned) seafood and cook until done. Cooking time will vary depending on seafood added. This soup goes well with anything (imo), but shrimp is a safe place to start for the non-adventurous. Place the garnish in each bowl and pour the broth and seafood over it. Enjoy. I assume you know something about seafood and will not be placing whole fish in the pot.
[At the dinner I shredded some turkey leg meat and placed that in a pan with the mushrooms and olive oil over medium high heat. I think I cooked this with some kale and splashes of vegetable broth until the mushrooms started to sweat. I then added some of the garnish and quickly removed it from the heat. I placed some of this at the bottom of each bowl bowl. I then topped it with the vegetable garnish. Pour the broth in each bowl and top with the turkey breast slice.]
Optional chili oil would be nice.
The soup should be extremely smooth and creamy with a slight kick that most people can enjoy. In my opinion, this soup is allllll about the broth. The broth is the star here. I’m making this again this Friday. I will alter/correct the recipe as needed.
I have no shame. I tell no lies. Judge me if you will, I don’t care. Life goes on! :) I confess, I have NEVER EVER prepared a turkey in my life. I know nothing about it. Yes, I’ve roasted a chicken and a cornish hen in the past, but never dare battle the great turkey. I thought it was supposed to be complicated. I thought it was supposed to be challenging. I was so wrong! Anyone can make this!!!!
I used the Alton Brown method. I advise you to watch the videos and follow suit. Not only did this method work, but it produced a lovely even golden skinned bird with juicy-buttery meat via very little effort on my part. I support that.
First Up… The Brine:
- 1 gallon of vegetable broth (nothing like your own… but store bought is fine).
- 1 Cup of course salt (2 cups if you use low sodium broth)
- .5 - 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6-8 star anise cloves
- ~ 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
- ~ 2 tablespoons of celery seeds
6 bruised cardamon pods
- 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of thyme
- 1 Gallon of water, iced. (One gallon of water with ice added).
Add all of the herbs/seeds and broth to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. I let this simmer covered for about 30 minutes or so… According to Alton, you should allow this to cool overnight in the fridge. I agree, but if you’re pressed for time allow it to cool asap via a chilled bath in the sink, etc..
Second… The bird:
- 1 Turkey, aka bird
- Coconut oil to coast the bird
- aromatics (lemon sliced in half, ginger, apples, herbs, etc.)
The bird should not be frozen. However, if it is frozen you should allow it to bring and thaw for a few days. Consult a turkey profession for such answers.
Remove the stuff from the bird and do with it what you will. Wash your bird. Place your bird in a brine bag or (very sterile) clean bucket. Add the brine. Note, if you need to cool the brine, you can also ice the brine a bit… but not too much. Add the iced water. Let this sit in the fridge overnight… or two nights.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Give your oven time to crank up the heat.
Remove the bird from the brine and wash it well. Pat it dry with a paper towel. As per Alton’s instructions, make your turkey triangle and put it to the side. Coat the bird with a generous portion of coconut oil. Canola oil, aka rapeseed oil, is not good for you and used as a pesticide (along with soy bean oil). Look that up if you want. Anyway… Coat with coconut oil and and place the aromatics in the cavity of the bird. Note, aromatics didn’t make that much of a difference. Place the bird in the preheated oven for an hour.
After an hour has passed, place the turkey triangle on the bird. Put the bird back in the oven and cook at 350 until done. DO NOT BASTE. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Walk away. Stay away. Come back around 1.5 hours. There are many ways to tell if a turkey is done. My turkey cooked for about 1.75 hours at 350 and I couldn’t believe how tasty and juice it was..
I went a bit crazy with the pods and seeds, but you can make the brine any way you want. Rind + juice to give it some hints of sweet citrus. Curry… Soy, ginger and chiles… A plethora of possibilities…
Thanks for coming out! Thank you for your contributions and donations!
Here is what I learned:
Here is what wasn’t made:
Popped in coconut oil (not the microwave) and tossed with sea salt and various spices.. You need something to snack on.
Baked Stuffed Wontons:
Baked wontons stuffed with plaintains cooked in rum, brown sugar, vanilla and butter with a dollop of goat cheese or strawberries, blueberries, lemon zest and plantains cooked in rum and brown sugar with a dollop of gorgonzola cheese.
Marinated with lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, white wine and a bit of homemade green curry paste.
Ahhh… The only desert I might make. I am tired! Organic (vegan) chocolate, a hint of cinnamon & sea salt blended into a tasty pudding.
I might roast some veggies. I do have some butternut squash and these cool looking purple yams.
Most people ate the following:
Mixed drinks… :)
I made a few simple rum based drinks… and one with this “cream” flavored vodka. That was interesting. Mica poured a lot of Cream-Vodka and Gingerale. That was tasty too.
Sabrina’s Kale-Arugula Dream
You know… it’s cliche, but so true. The simplest things are the best. This salad is edible proof. A mixture of kale, arugula, shallots, pan fried breadcrumbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. I could eat this everyday! Thanks, Sabrina! I killed the last of the salad. Yum!
Joys Fried Rice
Joy will be bring some fried rice. More info later… It will be vegan friendly! Thanks, Joy. I didn’t get to eat this yet. Guess whats for dinner tonight? :P
5 Hour Duck Tacos: The Sequel
Duck marinated in a pineapple-jerk marinade. Cooked for 5 hours and glazed with a jerk rub. Served in a tortilla with a cabbage-mango-jicima slaw, an exotic salsa (perhaps) optional sauces (fruity hot sauce, blueberry-anise sauce). Like I said, brine does nothing for the duck. I served this with a light chiptle flavored slaw with young mango, cabbage, pear, cilantro, etc., and the two sauces.
So… Someone donated a “last minute” turkey. It’s sitting in a brine infused with a lot of stuff. This recipe will get posted. It was soooooo easy, sooo tender and flavorful.
Coconut Milk Lemongrass Soup
Every so slightly spicy… A broth coconut milk broth infused with lemongrass, galangal, ginger and lime leaves with mushrooms, (maybe) thinly sliced bok choy, red peppers, cilantro and a piece of fish (optional). I thought this was smooth. I will try to post this recipe. Its insanely easy. I served it with a piece of turkey breast in the bowl with some bean sprouts, bok choy, cilantro and mushrooms.
Garlic Noodles w/ tomato sauce
Udon noodles (yes, udon) tossed in garlic, basil, arugula (if I have it), olive oil and salt. And… tossed again in a rich homemade tomato sauce with garlic, herbs, etc.
Blueberry and 5 star anise sauce. A sweet fruit based hot sauce. Chive oil (that always comes in handy)… Maybe a chipotle sauce…
Sabrina’s chocolate thingees (omg - so good!)…
Little chocolate cups of nutella and _____?_____. So simple, but so good!