Lemongrass-Coconut Chicken Soup

lemongrass_coconut_chicken_soupServes 4
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
4 lemongrass stalks, pale parts only, crushed with the flat side of a knife
1 head celery, stalks rinsed and roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and minced (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut widthwise into 1/4-inch strips
3 tablespoons fish sauce
6 cups unsalted fresh chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1/4 cup coconut milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup whole Thai basil leaves, or regular basil

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the lemongrass and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, onions and chiles, if using, and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add the chicken and sauté until opaque, about 1 minute. Add the fish sauce and stock, stir, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is reduced by one fifth, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice and stir. Add the basil and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve.

©2010 Ming Tsai – Taken from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals used with permission from Kyle Books

Cook’s Notes – from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals
Fish Sauce
This Southeast Asian staple, called nam pla in Thailand and noc mam in Vietnam, is made from salted and fermented anchovies and is used as often as the Chinese use soy sauce. I prefer the Thai Three Crab brand, which has a clean sea taste and less sweetness than other brands I’ve tried. Once opened, keep fish sauce in the fridge.

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4 Responses to Lemongrass-Coconut Chicken Soup

  1. Betty Timm says:

    Can not wait to try this recipe

  2. Mary Benedicto says:

    Sara you are a gracious hostess and orate nicely when depicting food preparation! Thanks for sharing your knowledge base. Cheers!

  3. Jane hitt says:

    I need more explanation about the use of lemon grass in this recipe.
    – lemongrass coconut chicken soup. I see Ming flattening the stalk with the back of the knife but then what does he do with it? Chop it into small pieces? He does not say to do that. Do you treat this like the other veggies and sauté chopped pieces and cook them in the Broth? I thought lemongrass was very tough.

    • moulton says:

      He smashed it, sauteed it with the other vegetables and then should have removed it before serving (I cannot remember if he did that). It is just in there to infuse the broth with its flavor. You are correct that it is tough. If he were actually going to leave it in the soup, it would have to have been sliced thin.

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