Here's a warming recipe for coconut chicken and galangal soup with oyster mushrooms from Andy Oliver, the head chef at Som Saa. It only takes 35 minutes to knock together, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner. Andy says, "The galangal is the essential ingredient here (the Thai name for the soup ‘dtom khaa’ means ‘boiled galangal’) so search some out at your nearest Asian store."
Andy worked with Singha beer to create several recipes that showcase the authentic taste of Thailand. His restaurant, Som Saa, closed the doors of its residency at Climpson's Arches in October, but will be back in the new year at a permanent site – watch this space.
- 450ml ideal fresh but if not then good quality Thai brand coconut milk
- 400ml chicken stock
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 8-10 small Thai shallots
- 6 sticks lemongrass, long ends trimmed off
- 5 coriander roots
- 3 thumb-sized pieces of galangal, sliced in to thick rounds
- 5-10 Thai bird's eye chillies (depends how hot you like)
- 8-10 lime leaves (frozen ones work fine and can be found in many Asian shops)
- 3-4 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
- 500g good quality chicken thigh meat, cut into spoon sized chunks
- 2 handfuls (about 200g) of oyster mushrooms, larger ones torn in half
- 1.5 tbsp palm sugar
- Juice of around 2 limes
- Small handful coriander leaves
- Pour the coconut milk and chicken stock into a saucepan, place over a medium-high heat, add the salt and bring to a simmer.
- With a pestle and mortar, bruise your shallots, galangal slices, lemon grass, coriander roots and chillies, tear the lime leaves roughly and tip the whole lot into the simmering milk and stock.
- Bring back to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 mins.
- Add 3 tbsp fish sauce and then slide in the chicken and oyster mushrooms. Simmer for 5 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Now stir in the palm sugar and allow to melt for a minute or two before turning off the heat and adding the 3/4 of the lime juice.
- Taste and adjust with more fish sauce or lime juice as needed. It should taste fragrant of galangal, rich, hot, sour and slightly salty, plus a tiny bit sweet from palm sugar and coconut milk.
- Ladle the soup into warm serving bowls and scatter over the fresh coriander leaves.