THAI COCONUT SOUP WITH LEMON GRASS AND SUGARCANE CHICKEN DUMPLINGS
- 2 1/2 2.5 2.5cups CUP_USVolumelobster stock
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumechili paste
- 1 1 1lemon grass, cut into 2 inch sticks
- 10 10 10fresh Thai basil leaves
- 1 1 1fresh small Thai chile
- 4 4 4ounces OUNCE_USVolumeground lean chicken
- 1/2 .5 .5teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumeminced garlic
- 1/2 .5 .5teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumeminced ginger
- 1 1 1teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumemushroom soy sauce
- 1/2 .5 .5teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumefish sauce
- 2 2 2teaspoons TEASPOON_USVolumepotato starch
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 8 8 8(4-inch) sugarcane sticks
- 2 2 2cups CUP_USVolumeSoup Base, see recipe
- 1 1 1cup CUP_USVolumecoconut milk
- 6 6 6Kaffir lime leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Lime juice, to taste
- About 1 tablespoon palm sugar, to taste
- Sugarcane Chicken Dumplings, see recipe
- 1 1 1ounce OUNCE_USVolumeglass noodles, soaked in water until softened
- 1/4 .25 .25cup CUP_USVolumecarrots, cut into julienne
- 1/4 .25 .25cup CUP_USVolumeleeks, cut into julienne
- 4 4 4Thai chiles, stems removed, split in half lengthwise, seeded
- 4 4 4Kaffir lime leaves, cut in a thin chiffonade
- Make the soup base. In a saucepan, combine the lobster stock, chili paste, lemon grass, Thai basil leaves and small Thai chile and bring to a boil. Reduce until only 2 cups remain. Set aside.
- Make the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, potato starch and black pepper. Mix until well blended. Divide into 8 portions. Wrap each portion around the end of each sugarcane stick. Reserve.
- Make the soup. To the soup base, add the coconut milk and lime leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, lime juice and sugar. Add the dumplings and simmer until done, about 3 minutes.
PresentationDivide the softened glass noodles on four soup bowls. Place two dumplings crisscross on top of the noodles, leaning to the side of the bowl. Divide the soup onto the four bowls. Garnish each bowl with julienne of carrots, leeks, Thai chiles and lime leaf. Serve immediately.
Wine RecommendationDon't be frightened of experimenting with wines to accompany a strong Asian-flavored dish like this. Try a good Californian Chardonnay to start with. Or, if you're feeling brave, try cooling a young red like a Syrah or one of Niebaum-Coppola's light and fruity Italian varietals. Of course, you can always do what the Thais do - take the cap off a cold bottle of Singha beer!
There's an incredible combination of flavors in this soup, and it's one of my all time favorites. It's a mixture of spicy, sweet, sour, and cool. Like all good things it takes time. So, take it easy when preparing all the ingredients, so when it's time to cook you'll be in total control - and most importantly you'll have fun.