Monday, December 9, 2013

Warming Up with Tom Ka

I should have known that the mere mention of Tom Ka Gai would make me crave the delicious Thai soup, especially with the current cold snap that's taken over nearly the entire nation. The blend of sweet and sour combined with the curry and red pepper flakes warms me to the bone, and the Authentic Thai Coconut Soup recipe that I always use from All Recipes is easily adaptable to whatever I happen to have in my fridge.

Although previously I always used the shrimp called for in the recipe, I've since learned that shrimp are not the most environmentally friendly seafood to eat (although there are better options, according to Seafood Watch). This time, I instead used a couple of shredded chicken breasts from a roasted chicken &emdash; whose carcass was also used to make the chicken stock I substituted for the water called for in the recipe.

And instead of shiitake mushrooms, I sauteed in coconut oil 8 ounces each of enoki and king oyster mushrooms and added that to the soup instead. One of the important tips I learned in my aforementioned "Food and Medicinal Mushrooms" class is that mushrooms should always be eaten cooked because our bodies are unable to break down their cell walls. And when I say cooked, I mean cooked. That means after they release all of their liquids, keep on cooking them until they start to brown and dry. You will notice a much more potent flavor and a meatier texture &emdash; please give it a try and let me know what you think!

I also added a few fried tofu cubes sliced in 1/4-inch slices to each bowl, and garnished the soup with both green onions and fresh chopped basil. End result? Delicious!

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