Sweet and sour components balance the richness of lemon grass-and-lime-infused coconut milk, which, in turn, tempers a slow-building chile burn.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, bottom 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
- 3 large shallots, chopped
- 8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped coarse
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk, well shaken
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄2 lb white mushroom, cleaned, stems trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, halved lenghtwise and sliced on bias into 1/8-inch-thick pieces
- 3 tablespoons lime juice, from 2-3 limes
- 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
garnish for soup
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 serrano chilies, sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering.
- Add lemon grass, shallots, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2 to 5 minutes (vegetables should not brown).
- Stir in chicken broth and 1 can coconut milk; bring to simmer over high heat.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until flavors have blended, 10 minutes.
- Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer and discard solids in strainer.
- Rinse saucepan and return broth mixture to pan.
- Return pan to medium-high heat.
- Stir remaining can coconut milk and sugar into broth mixture and bring to simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Remove soup from heat.
- Combine lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce in small bowl; stir into soup.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chilis, and scallions.
- Serve immediately with lime wedges.