This creamy, tangy and spicy Thai soup is heaven in a bowl. Poached rather than fried meatballs add chickeny goodness to the broth, and you can absolutely leave the breadcrumbs out to make this dish gluten-free. Don’t forget to go heavy on the lime – you want it zingy! Pure comfort.
600ml (20 fl oz) coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
5cm piece galangal, sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed
100g oyster mushrooms
2½ tbsp fish sauce
a tsp white sugar
5 birds’ eye chillies
3 tbsp lime juice
3 stalks coriander (cilantro), leaves and stems roughly chopped
500g (about 1 lb) chicken mince
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
¼ cup finely sliced spring onion (scallions)
¼ cup finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
½ cup panko breadcrumbs*
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp coconut milk
½ tsp sea salt
To make the meatballs, place the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently until just combined. Set aside for later. Form into small meatballs.
Place coconut milk, 1 cup water, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the coconut milk is hot but not boiling, add the chicken meatballs and mushrooms. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat.
Use a mortar and pestle to lightly bruise the chillies. Stir the bruised chillies, fish sauce and sugar into the soup. Turn the heat off and then add the lime juice. Taste and season with extra fish sauce or lime juice to taste. The flavour should be creamy, tangy and spicy.
Just before serving, add the coriander.