A couple of weeks ago my sister in law came out to visit from L.A. to see the cutest baby in the whole of the universe (Ok I may be a bit biased…but seriously…have you seen him?). While she was here we were trying to figure out where to eat. I had wanted to go to a steak restaurant because the week before I got completely robbed of a juicy steak. Here is the story:
My friend Amber had her son two weeks before I had mine. So we were invited to her sons birthday party the same day that the husband and I had planned a double date. Luckily she planned it for noon and our date wasn’t until 4 so we were in the clear but we got there and the pizza she was going to order hadn’t been ordered yet. It was probably about 1:30 before we ate and she was super sweet and ordered me a gluten free pizza. So naturally I felt like I should eat as much of it as I could and on top of that it was the Baked Potato Pizza from Pizza Luce which is delish!! So on top of eating a poop ton of pizza it was basically all carbs and just sat in my stomach like a solid brick.
For our double date we were supposed to go to Outback steak house and then go see the Body Worlds exhibit at the Science Museum. I had really been looking forward to a nice juicy steak all week long and was so perturbed at myself that I was so full that I basically just sat at the steak house pouting like a giant 4 year old. I was so full of carby pizza that I literally didn’t need to eat dinner that night. When I went to bed about midnight I was still full.
Ok so fast forward to my sister in laws visit. I still wanted steak in the worst way but it sounded like they wanted sushi or Asian food which makes sense since they are both Asian. I was not in the mood for Asian so we all settled for Thai which I like a whole lot and it was a happy medium. We went to a restaurant called Pad Thai which my husband and I have been to a couple of times and liked a whole lot.
I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new food and since I think she’s actually been to Thailand I let her make recommendations for dinner (especially since she was paying). She recommended a soup called Ghang Kha which is a chicken coconut soup. I was a bit skeptical but boy when I tasted it….WOOOO!!! It was so good and I knew I had to make it.
Last night I was shopping online for wine and wondered about the name of the wine I ordered. I did some investigating and I went to the site for Pad Thai to see if they showed what the brand was. No luck. BUT! While I was on the site I looked up the name of the soup and planned to make it tonight since we both liked it a whole bunch.
Now when I went to look up the recipe online I could not find it but the recipe for Tom Kha Gai kept coming up. So I looked at the recipe and low and behold that was the same soup. I’m not sure if the name Ghang Kha is specific to that restaurant, the region where the owners are from or what but it’s the same soup.
This soup utilizes the juice of lime, leaves of keffir lime, lemon grass and ginger to create this wonderfully rich broth that is so fabulous. It’s just the right balance of salty and zesty tanginess that makes this dish so delightful. The mushrooms add an earthy undertone and the coconut milk adds a silky sweetness that compliments the full bodied flavor as it dances across your tongue.
The hardest part about making this soup is the same gripe I have about cooking all Asian food. The chopping. I learned a long time ago after making what I called “White Girl Mistakes” that you need to do ALL the chopping BEFORE you cook anything. The steps for Asian food go so fast that if you have to stop to chop something the dish doesn’t turn out the same.
I took complete advantage of this and had my husband chop the lemon grass and score the lime leaves while I cut up the chicken, mushrooms and ginger. Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to have him in the kitchen with me. We always have a good times and laugh a lot when we cook together. We need more of that.
After you get everything chopped it’s all downhill from there.
Son number one was a bit skeptical about this soup as it was something he hadn’t tried before but he loved it. Even son number two loved it and ate quite a bit of it. This dish definitely made it into our rotation.