Andrew Zimmern's quick version of this classic Thai coconut soup gets flavor from a combination of fish sauce, chili paste, lemongrass and lime leaves.
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1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 tablespoons Thai chili paste (nam prik pao; see Note)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, tender inner white part only, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Thai chiles, seeded and very thinly sliced on the diagonal, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
Limes wedges, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the fish sauce.
In a medium saucepan, combine the stock with the chili paste, sugar, lime leaves and lemongrass and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken and fish sauce to the saucepan along with the shiitakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the lime leaves. Stir in the lime juice and chiles and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle the soup with the cilantro and serve with lime wedges and sliced chiles.
Nam prik pao is a sweet and spicy Thai condiment. It's available at Asian markets and online at kalustyans.com.
Briny, citrus-inflected white.
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Review Body: So good and pretty easy and quick. The recipe called for chicken thighs, but I used organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts; I also couldn’t find the specific type of thai chili paste, so I used the one I had in my fridge (Thai Kitchen brand roasted red chili paste); I didn’t have kaffir lime leaves so I substituted a tablespoon of grated lime rind; and lastly I substituted serrano peppers for the Thai chilies.