Sunday, January 20, 2013

Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Soup

Okay kiddos, first attempt at writing a recipe in a cohesive manner. Good luck to me!

As the title implies, this is a quick and easy facsimile of a Tom Ga soup. 

I had the chicken breast and rice already prepared so this went together in a flash!  I am giving the recipe for two, but it is easy enough to double, or halve as you need. You could use mushrooms or tofu in place of the chicken, or even some shrimp. You could also use prepared rice noodles in place of the rice.

I have a lot to learn. I didn’t think to check how long it took me to prep this, or how long the actual cooking time was. Gulp. I’ll get there, folks, I promise!

I use the Trader Joe’s lite coconut milk and think the taste is fabulous. You can certainly use the full fat coconut milk but your nutrition levels will be different than what I calculated. If you don’t have fish sauce just adjust the amount of salt, and get some fish sauce next time you go shopping! It adds another dimension to your cooking.

Prep time guesstimate : 10 minutes
Cooking time guesstimate : 15-20 minutes
Total time : about 30 minutes
Serves 2 as a meal

Ingredients :
2/3 C lite coconut milk
2/3 C broth or water
½ t fish sauce
1 inch fresh ginger root
2 pieces of Star anise
1 C frozen peas
6 oz. cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 ½ C cooked basmati rice.
½ t lime zest
1 lime, quartered
¼ C chopped green onions
¼ C chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Sriracha hot chili sauce

Directions :
    1.   Mix the coconut milk, broth or water, fish sauce, ginger root, and star anise in a saucepan over medium heat.
    2.   When the mixture comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and stir in the lime zest and the frozen peas. (While this simmers I usually chop my onions and cilantro, and quarter the lime.)
    3.   When the peas are warm, about three minutes, add the chicken, stir and simmer five minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
    4.   Remove the anise stars and the ginger nob.
    5.   Warm the rice (I usually throw it in the microwave for about 50 seconds, just to get the chill off)
    6.   Pour the soup over the rice.
    7.   Serve with the cilantro, scallions, a squeeze of lime and a few squirts of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.

One of the things I love best about Asian soups is that addition of fresh at the table! Everyone can add as much or as little as they like. I think this would be amazing with some Thai basil chopped in with the cilantro, and I will try that this summer when I have some growing.

Note about using Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce : If you are not used to using Sriracha Sauce in a soup, be warned that the heat increases as the soup decreases!

Ha! I stopped shoveling this in long enough to take a picture of the lovely pink color you get from the Sriracha Sauce.  It was not easy!

I hope you will give this delicious soup a try! Enjoy.

My nutrition calculator put each serving of soup (using lite coconut milk and water) at
365 calories
6.5 grams fat
50.8 grams carbohydrates
26.5 grams protein