Chicken Soup: Thai Coconut Soup with Lemongrass and Sugarcane Chicken Dumplings

posted by Mimi Hiller 05-05-103 3:50 PM

from Wolfgang Puck
Thai Coconut Soup with Lemongrass and Sugarcane Chicken Dumplings

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.

Soup Base:
2 1/2 cups lobster stock
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 lemon grass, cut into 2 inch sticks
10 fresh Thai basil leaves
1 fresh small Thai chile

Sugarcane Chicken Dumplings:
4 ounces ground lean chicken
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon mushroom soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons potato starch
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
8 (4-inch) sugarcane sticks

Thai Coconut Soup:
2 cups Soup Base, see recipe
1 cup coconut milk
6 Kaffir lime leaves
Salt and pepper
Lime juice, to taste
About 1 tablespoon palm sugar, to taste
Sugarcane Chicken Dumplings, see recipe

1 ounce glass noodles, soaked in water until softened
1/4 cup carrots, cut into julienne
1/4 cup leeks, cut into julienne
4 Thai chiles, stems removed, split in half lengthwise, seeded
4 Kaffir 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.

Presentation: Divide 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 Recommendation: Don'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!

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