For the recent Iron Chef D.C. home competition, Greg and Meredith Deviny served this soup in coconut shells. The chili-garlic sauce gives it some punch.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: Makes 6 dinner-size servings or 8 first-course servings
- 2 cans (27 to 28 ounces) light unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 2 6-inch stalks lemon grass, slightly crushed and tied together with kitchen twine
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
- 1 serrano chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 lime (juice only; about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white parts only (optional)
- 1/4 cup basil, cut into very thin strips, for garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
In a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the coconut milk, chicken broth, mushrooms, lemon grass, fish sauce, ginger, serrano chili pepper and chili-garlic sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, with bubbles just breaking the surface. Add the chicken and continue to cook, covered, until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the lime juice and scallions, if desired, stirring to combine. Discard the lemon grass. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with basil and cilantro. Serve hot.
*Note: Chili-garlic sauce is available in the international aisle of larger supermarkets and at Asian specialty stores.
Adapted from a June 1998 Bon Appetit magazine recipe.
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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