With its seductive flavors of coconut, lime, ginger, and cilantro, this is my version after many years of making it. Galangal has no substitute and adds a wonderful flavor dimension that no other ingredient can replicate. : For a really great presentation, consider a hot pot. Not only will the soup stay hot but the flame emanating from its hollow center also provides a dramatic and fun presentation. You can purchase one for around $20 at asian grocers or on-line. —ChristineQ
vegetable or canola oil
shallots, thinly sliced
large cloves garlic, minced
stem lemongrass, outer leaves removed, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch section
kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
(5-inch piece) galangal root, sliced into 4 or 5 round
serrano or red chiles, seeded and sliced, depending on your tolerance for heat
Thai chili paste or more, again depending on your tolerance for heat
To prepare the soup, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large stockpot over medium heat. Once shimmering, add shallots and garlic, and cook until softened. Add lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, chiles, chili paste, salt and pepper; sauté 1–2 minutes.
Add coconut milk, wine, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a low boil; lower heat to medium-low and simmer 10–15 minutes.
Add mushrooms and chicken to simmering broth and cook another 12–15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add Thai basil and cilantro and lime juice before serving.
I often like to add rice to bottom of soup bowl and ladle the soup over it or rice can be served at the table and added if wanted.