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Thai Chicken Coconut Soup Recipe

Note: Lemongrass stalk can be found at many large supermarkets (look near where they sell fresh ginger.) If you can't find a whole stalk, look for it in a tube. Many supermarkets carry lemongrass already pulverized, ready to use. Gourmet Garden is a brand I've used before (though fresh is still best.) I've also seen minced lemongrass frozen too. Another option - use a vegetable peeler to cut 2 strips of lemon peel (avoid the white, bitter pith, just the lemon skin.) I like to peel a big piece, use my fingers to twist it about to release its oils.
Same for kaffir lime leaves. If you can't find it fresh, try frozen kaffir lime leaves. Another option - peel 2 strips of lime peel. Lime is already in the recipe, so cut the peel first before juicing for recipe.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 4


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • Large handful of fresh cilantro
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 12-oz cans of coconut milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp good-quality chicken stock
  • 1 red chili
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 2 limes
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar


  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan or wok on a medium heat.
  • Trim the lemongrass stalk and discard any tough outer leaves before finely chopping the white bit (discard the green bit as it can be quite bitter). Peel and finely chop the garlic and then peel the ginger and cut it into thin slivers. Tear the kaffir lime leaves in several places on the leaf (but keep the leaf intact.) Chop the stalks off the cilantro (in one go) and then finely slice them (keeping the cilantro leaves aside for later).
  • Carefully toss everything in the hot oil with the kaffir lime leaves and stir fry for a couple of minutes, being careful that nothing sticks and burns.
  • Next add the coconut milk and stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, halve the chili lengthwise and then finely slice it, leaving the seeds in if you like it quite fiery. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and add both ingredients to the now-simmering soup. Reduce the heat a little and leave it to bubble away for about 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  • Finely slice the onions (both the green and the white bits), juice the limes and roughly chop half of the reserved cilantro leaves. Add these once the chicken is cooked and then leave to simmer for a final minute. Last, add enough fish sauce and sugar to taste.
  • Ladle into four serving bowls, scatter the remaining cilantro leaves over and serve.


From Everyday Easy by Lorraine Pascale
Text copyright 2012 by Lorraine Pascale. Photographs copyright 2012 by Myles New. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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