Friday, August 03, 2007

Kim Chai Soup

How to survive San Francisco summers:

I call it Kim Chai because it's like a Thai coconut soup with Kim Chee in it. It's delicious and hearty, and most importantly, very simple to make. Let's get started:


  1. Vegetables. I like to use carrots, snap or snow peas, mushrooms, onions and corn.
  2. Lemongrass and fresh ginger root. Supermarkets sell lemongrass by the stalk.
  3. Coconut milk (It's high in fat so the Lite milk works just as well and you won't feel as guilty)
  4. Stock. Chicken or vegetable; choose your poison.
  5. KIM CHEE of course. In my local Safeway, it's sold right next to the gyoza wrappers. I always try to buy the hottest jar but you should use what is right for you. My mom actually washes hers off in the sink (hello, what's the point?).
  6. Chicken breasts. Although you could use shrimp too -- I don't see why not.


  1. Chop up your chicken, add salt and pepper, and saute it in a pan. Once it starts to brown I put a little chicken stock in it and cover the pan to continue cooking it without drying it out and turn it off while it's cooked enough.
  2. Meanwhile, chop up your vegetables in bite size pieces. Last thing you want to do is wrestle with large pieces while eating soup because it just splashes on your shirt every time.
  3. Rough chop the Kim Chee. Most of the pieces will already be small.

  4. Chop your lemongrass in a few pieces. The fresh cuts allow more flavor to come out but it's not chewable so you want to be able to fish it out before serving. Same as the ginger. (see pic)
  5. Get your soup pot hot and start sauteing your onions. Once they're going well enough, just throw everything else in. It will look like this messy crap below but just wait ...

Once everything seems like it's pretty cooked up together (3-4 minutes), pour in your chicken stock and let the soup start to simmer. After a few more minutes pour in the coconut milk. Your soup should now be a creamy, semi-opaque broth.

Throw in the chicken and let it finish off with the soup. Taste your soup and season it to taste. It should be spicy and salty with the flavors of ginger and lemongrass running rampant.

BOOYAH - You're done. I told you it was simple.

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