Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
This two stage recipe is easy to prepare. The recipe looks difficult but is actually not that hard. I've been told that this soup is very common in Cambodia and just about everyone has their own way to preparing it. Can be served with jasmine rice on the side for adding to the soup.
- 1 (3 -3 1/2 lb) whole chickens, cut into 8 pieces (innards removed but use the neck if you have it)
- 1 white onion, quartered
- 1 inch fresh gingerroot, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 green onions
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
- 2 sprigs cilantro
- 2 tablespoons nam pla
- cold water (enough to cover the chicken)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, minced (white bulbs only)
- 1⁄4 cup nam pla
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons galangal, coarsely chopped or 2 teaspoons ginger, coursely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄4 lb fresh lotus root, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
- 1 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 3⁄4 lb chicken meat (diced into 1 inch cubes or shredded)
- 1⁄2 cup tamarind juice (mix 2/3 cup hot water with 3 oz tamarind paste, stir and strain)
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup thai holy basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 hard-boiled egg (per person)
- 2 cups pineapple, crushed
- 2 -6 birds' eye chilies, sliced very thinly
- Roast the onion, garlic, and ginger under a broiler until charred, about 10 minutes.
- Place all stock ingredients in a stockpot except the fish sauce, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.
- Reduce to a slow simmer. After 15 minutes, remove from heat, and cool.
- Remove the chicken and let cool (3/4 lb chicken meat can be shredded, chilled and used later in soup next day).
- Return the bones to the pot with the roasted vegetables and add the fish sauce. Return stock to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove from heat. Skim as much fat off the top as possible, and strain through cheesecloth. Let the stock cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the top layer of fat. You can freeze the stock in ice cube trays, and then store the stock cubes in sealable plastic bags for use whenever you need it.
- When ready to finish soup, combine the chicken stock, lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, galangal and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the pineapple, lotus root and tomato. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Add the tamarind juice then gently stir-in the chicken. Return the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the oil to a small pan and heat over high heat. Use this to fry the garlic until just browned then add to the soup.
- Stir in the basil and cilantro. Allow to wilt for 1 minute and take off the heat.
- Add the egg(s), stirring them into the soup.
- Serve the soup ladled into warmed soup bowls and garnished with the birds’ eye chillies. Make sure each guest has one hard boiled egg in their bowl.