- 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 stalk lemongrass, tender inner white part only, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- Two 14-ounce cans coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, sliced crosswise into 2-by-1/4-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Thai red chile paste
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 red or green Thai chiles, very thinly sliced on the bias
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the fish sauce.
- In a large pot, combine the stock with the sugar, chile paste, tamarind, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and fish sauce along with the mushrooms and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the lime leaves. Stir in the lime juice and chiles. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.
The soup can be refrigerated overnight.