This is a simple Thai recipe, and a favorite with many Asian food fans, all the ingredients can be collected from local Asian supermarkets that are springing up everywhere.
3 cups rich chicken broth
1 golf-ball-sized piece of galangal (Siamese ginger) or conventional ginger root
1 large stalk lemon grass, trimmed and sliced thin.
2 Kaffir lime leaves
2 cans (14 oz. each) unsweetened coconut milk
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thin
2 tbs. chili-tamarind paste (nam phrik pao) available in Asian markets
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2-1/2 tbs. golden brown sugar
2-1/2 tbs. fish sauce
1/2 lb. straw mushrooms (canned is fine) or fresh oyster mushrooms -- or both!
5 small Thai red chilies, sliced in half lengthwise
Cilantro leaf for garnish
Bring the stock, lime leaves, lemon grass, sugar, galangal and chili paste to a boil in small pot.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken and mushrooms and bring to a simmer, quickly stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Float the chilies on the soup and serve, garnishing with cilantro sprigs.
I serve this dish with sticky rice on the side and a quick salad of chilies, vinegar, sugar, onion and cucumber.
3 cups Thai sticky rice
Soak rice overnight in enough of a volume of water to cover the rice by 4 inches.
Drain well and place in a conical straw steaming basket for sticky rice, or in a damp muslin lined sieve set over a pot of boiling water.
Cover the rice with a damp cloth, and do not let the bottom of the sieve touch the water.
Steam for 25 minutes and let rice rest for 10 minutes.
Turn rice out into a bowl and immediately cover with a warm, damp cloth.