Friday, October 4, 2013

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup

Temperature Check: 13 degrees C

My Naar Nederland book says that it often rains here in the autumn. That a lot of people also get sick, perhaps from the rain and the cold weather. No wonder people much prefer to stay inside where it is lekker warm  at this time of the year.

And nothing screams comfort like a nice bowl of warm soup. 

See those kids over there with the banner? That was our spot. We stood behind them during the Prinsjesdag parade.
Standing shivering in the cold for hours to watch the Dutch Royal Couple's procession had me badly in need of and in the mood for some hot ramen afterwards. We found a nice looking japanese restaurant not too far from our viewing spot. I could almost cry happy tears when I saw ramen on their menu. Thank heavens! One ramen for me and a teriyaki bento for the hubby.
Then came the ramen. Surprise! Surprise! But wait.. something is missing. Where was the hot broth? Can you call it ramen if it doesn't have soup? I felt a bit cheated with this dish. The serving size was so small, I wondered if I had mistakenly ordered an appetizer. To be fair, it was still a very tasty dish though it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Unfortunately, there was some misunderstanding with the server, who failed to note down the hubby's bento order which put him in a bad mood. He didn't want to bother waiting for the bento so we left after we finished the ramen. We were both still hungry so then we ended up in another low-key spot around the corner that serves good wok meals. That saved the day. We should have just gone straight to this place if only we had found it first. Cheaper meals with way bigger servings! I was beyond grateful for a warm cup of Thai Kokos Soep.

This soup was still on my mind days later after leaving that Wok restaurant. Too bad it wasn't within the area where we live. I fell in love with that soup but not crazy enough to go all the way to Den Haag for it. I knew I had to make a similar kokos soep at home.

So google led me to this very reliable link for wonderful recipes that is definitely going to my bookmarks.

For this delicious soup, you will need mushrooms, red bell pepper, ginger, half a stalk of lemon grass, chicken broth, soy sauce, fresh coriander, garlic and sambal oelek (Chili paste) that I forgot to include in the photo. 

We don't have fish sauce in the house so I used soy sauce instead. I also omitted the chicken in the soup (used them instead for the Chicken Cashew in Sweet Chili Sauce as you can see below.)

There is a chain of chinese stores in the Netherlands called "TOKO" that sells all sorts of imported Asian products. I badly miss our Filipino soy sauce but I can't find it here!

Clean and slice your mushrooms *with a blunt knife*. Measure about 1.5 cups.

1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper (seeded)

Cut the lemon grass lengthwise. Mince the garlic and ginger.

Cook the mushrooms, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. 
Add the sambal oelek. Stir and cook for another minute.

Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the koriander just before serving.

serves 3-4
recipe adapted from Cooking Light 

2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
half a stalk lemon grass, cut lengthwise
2 tsp sambal oelek(or thai red curry paste)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp soy sauce
fresh koriander

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, lemon grass, mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the sambal. Cook for another minute. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard lemon grass. Top with koriander.

Oh, and I also made this awesome Chicken Cashew in Sweet Chili Sauce to go with the Thai Spicy Coconut Soup. Why buy take out when you can make it at home? 

Perfect Thai dinner for two!