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If you want a soup with less fat, it is possible to substitute light coconut milk for one or both cans of regular coconut milk. Fresh lemon grass can be omitted. If you want a spicier soup, add more red curry paste to taste. For a more substantial meal, serve the soup over 2 to 3 cups of cooked jasmine rice. The soup can be prepared through step 1 up to one day ahead of time and refrigerated, but it should be completed immediately before serving, as the chicken and mushrooms can easily overcook.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 -2 stalk lemongrass, outer sheath removed, bottom 3 inches trimmed and minced (3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 -3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
- 6 cups homemade chicken stock or 6 cups canned low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce or 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 (14 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 by 1/4-inch strips (about 12 ounces)
- 1 (15 ounce) can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- 3 scallions, greens only, sliced thin on an angle (optional)
- 1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lemon grass, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
- 2. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the pot and stir to dissolve the curry paste. Add the remaining stock, fish sauce or soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
- 3. Stir in the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, and lime juice. Bring back to a simmer and cook until the stock is hot and the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with cilantro and scallions.