Anywho. Here's the book:
And here's what you'll need. It may look complicated, but it's actually surprisingly easy:
Oh, and I should mention, this makes one serve... Start by removing the outer leaves from a stalk of lemongrass, and slicing up about half of it:
Then chop the tops off two small red chillis. Remove the seeds if you don't want it to be as spicy:
I rinsed it in some cold water to get rid of some of the saltiness, and then sliced it:
Then slice up a handful of chicken breast. Yes, the recipe actually says a handful. No, I have no idea how much that is either. I used 2/3 of a chicken breast:
Dump coconut milk and water into a saucepan. You need a total of 270mL. The recipe calls for 70mL coconut milk and 200mL water. But if you like it richer, you can reverse the proportions, or use any combination of proportions in between - I did half and half (Oh, also? Apologies for the photos. I only realised last night that the reason I had to use the flash is because I had my ISO set on 200. #fail):
Heat it to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer and add the chicken:
While the chicken's cooking (which should only take a couple of minutes), place a tablespoon of caster sugar in a small bowl:
Add in 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce (the recipe actually calls for fish sauce, but ew):
And 1 tablespoon of lime juice. I love lime juice, so I just made it 1 lime worth of juice. Mix it all together:
Then add the sauce, lemongrass, chillis, shallot and galangal to the saucepan, along with two kaffir lime leaves:
Return to the boil, then pour the whole lot into a bowl, and serve with rice and steamed veggies:
The verdict? I've ordered tom kha gai in restaurants a couple of times seeing as I couldn't find galangal, and it's always contained mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, which just seems kind of weird to me. So to FINALLY be able to make it the way we learnt in Thailand was both ridiculously exciting, and slightly terrifying that it wouldn't live up to my ridiculously high expectations. But it did. It's creamy and spicy and filled with flavour. And it's pretty simple, once you've chopped up all the herbs/spices - I think it only took about 20 minutes to have the whole thing on the table.
To be perfectly honest, it was a bit too spicy for my liking, so I'd probably only use one chilli in the future. But apart from that, it's a magnificent dish and definitely my favourite of the challenge so far. Oh, and the recipe says that you can replace the chicken with a handful of vegetables, so even vegetarians can give it a whirl! Sure, tracking down the galangal might be a bit of a pain, but once you've got it (and I got an enormous jar of the stuff for $2.95!), you can make Thai food to your heart's content!
Give it a go, and let me know what you think :)