Now is this time of the year when anybody can’t think of anything but the upcoming Christmas dinner to cook (I can see a lot of visitors going everyday to my Puff Pastry Christmas Tree post page this month), while all I can think about is escaping to an exotic destination for a well deserved vacation. But with work tying me up to my very city all winter long, I must think out of the box and find a way to escape through something more artificial… or through cooking a nice dish from a fine and longed holiday destination that I love: Thailand, again. I am not so much of a Christmas holidays person, but much more of a Travelling holidays person, so now that I feel like getting one but can only get through the other one, I must adapt, fast. No need to say more, this Thai Chicken Soup with Coco Lime and Vermicelli will surely take me to where I long to be, a warm beach on a peaceful island in Asia, surrounded by coconut trees and more, smelling in the air the acidic and delicious aromas of these juicy limes that I love. Come and dream along! If you are like me and don’t have the Christmas thing in you, maybe opt for a tasty and extra flavorsome diversion this year!
Vegetarian friends, you can replace the chicken by nice and thick slices of sweet potato (and replace the chicken stock by vegetable stock). Beware the preparation is slightly different though. You will need to precook the sweet potato slices in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, and only in the end of the dish preparation, you can add the sweet potato to the saucepan for 2 or 3 minutes, then only turn off the heat, and serve.
You may want to take note that I have used Chinese-style mushrooms here, which are usually not used in Thai style soup, so for a full Thai-style you’d want to replace them with carrot slices or bell pepper slices.
Ingredients and directions are for 2 servings. However, I find it much more convenient to prepare this soup for two in separate saucepans if you can, so that in the end you can serve both individual bowls without wasting three solid minutes counting mushrooms or chicken pieces – if you want to equally share . Just pour the entire content of each saucepan onto the vermicelli noodles in each bowl, and go on eating. Just beware of dividing all the recipe’s ingredients in half if you decide to follow this advice.
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves, thinly minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp of ground ginger
- 500 ml to 750 ml of chicken stock [or hot water with a dehydrated cube] (depends on how large each of you want your soup)
- 200 ml of coconut milk
- 1 thick chicken breast, butterflied and sliced
- 2 portions of rice vermicelli
- the juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp of honey or brown sugar
- About 150 g of mixed Asian mushrooms such as shiitake and black mushrooms
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp of red hot pepper paste or Sriracha
- 1/2 cup of chopped scallion greens
- Warm up in advance the chicken stock, or the water that will go with the half dehydrated cube per person in each saucepan if you cook separately.
- Cook the vermicelli according to package instructions, and immediately cool them off under cold water. Drain and serve in individual bowls.
- Re-hydrate your dehydrated mushrooms according to package instructions, and roughly chop the black mushrooms.
- Cut in half the shiitake mushrooms and display them in each bowl over the vermicelli noodles.
- In heavy bottom saucepans, heat the oil and cook the garlic, shallots and ginger rapidly.
- Add the chicken, cook one minute.
- Add the chicken stock along with the black mushrooms, cook about 10 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, lime juice and fish sauce. Add the hot pepper paste and honey. Stir well.
- When the soup is ready, immediately pour it over the vermicelli and shiitake.
- Chop scallion greens with scissors over the soup. Eat RIGHT NOW! Have a nice trip!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2016 All Rights Reserved.