Tom Yam Gai (Thai Chicken Soup)
6 cups chicken stock
1-2 boneless chicken breasts
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
4 kaffir lime leaves (or 1 tsp lime zest)
6-8 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon cracked Kampot Pepper
1 tomato, diced
1 6-once can coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 green onions, sliced
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Place chicken stock in large pot over medium-high heat. Add lemongrass and bring to boil.
Add chicken, lime leaves, ginger, garlic, Kampot pepper, pepper flakes, mushrooms and celery. Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
Add tomato and bell pepper and simmer 2 more minutes. Reduce heat and add coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Simmer 1-2 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls and top with basil and green onions.
The key: Balance between spicy, sour, salty and sweet. For salty, add more fish sauce. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice. If too sour, add more sugar. And, if you like it creamier, add more coconut milk. To make it spicier, add more Kampot pepper or red pepper flakes.