Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The search for galangal continues...

Tom Kha soup with beef rib eye.
I didn't get a chance to hunt down galangal for my recipe challenge today. 

So, what did I do? I used some of the ingredients on hand and made a kinda/sorta/maybe like version of Tom Kha.

I still didn't have any galangal, no Thai chillies and there were no kaffir lime leaves in sight.

I just did my usual and used what I had. And I was curious about how using ginger in place of galangal would change the taste of the soup.

The soup was definitely missing the complexity of flavor of the traditional Tom Kha Gai (with beef substituted) but it was still pretty great.

I found this great packet of thinly sliced rib eye when I was on my day-long shopping trip yesterday.

I put 2-3 slices into individual plastic bags and put them (about 12 in total) right into the freezer. Now I will have a handy protein supply that will take minutes to cook up!

After realizing my dreams of continuing my hunt for galangal were never going to materialize, I decided to adapt a recipe I found here

So, straight on to the recipe - it was a pretty fast and satisfyingly spicy - I highly recommend it as a modified home version of Tom Kha-something kind of soup.

Tom Kha soup with beef rib eye

Serves 1


1 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup of coconut cream (it is the creamy stuff on the top)
1/2 cup of coconut milk (the clearer liquid you see towards the bottom of the can)
1/4" square of ginger
Two 2" segments of lemon grass, pounded slightly
1 button mushroom, sliced
2 broccoli florets, cut in half
The juice of 1/2 of one small lime
2 tsp of fish sauce
1/2 tsp of soy sauce
1 Tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro
Two 1/2" slices of a small red Serrano pepper, seeds removed
3 thin slices of frozen beef rib eye, broken into pieces


Put the chicken broth, the lemon grass and the ginger into a soup pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to a medium simmer and add in the coconut cream and milk along with the chili peppers, soy sauce and fish sauce. Simmer another 2 minutes.

Add in the beef rib eye and broccoli and let cook 2 minutes. Then add in the mushrooms, cilantro and lime juice - take the pot off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup into a bowl and be careful to fish out the chili peppers if you like your soup on the mild side. 

I also fish out the lemon grass because I hate having to dig around it for the other ingredients. 


  1. What a great soup! I've heard of Galangal but have no clue what it is, haha.