Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken, Shiitake Mushroom and Young Coconut Soup

I had another couple of lunch guests today. This is perhaps my favorite aspect of this project. People come over, I sit them down and feed them something. It requires a certain type of eater that is increasingly rare in this country: someone who will eat whatever it is you put in front of them. Dietary restrictions and politics certainly have an important place, but they increasingly divide us at the dinner table.

Today, chicken soup with mushrooms and young coconut was on the menu. Young coconut is the kind of ingredient I usually avoid as it's shipped across the world all while requiring refrigeration. Also, how good could it really be? Carbon footprints aside, it was actually excellent. I hacked away at it until I messily scalped the damn thing. I lost only a matter of drops of the water.
The soup is quite simple really. It's comprised of chicken broth, shredded chicken, shiitake mushrooms, young coconut, lime leaves, deep fried garlic and Thai basil. It's seasoned with light soy sauce, oyster sauce and palm sugar. It's not huge on flavor like other Thai soups but the delicate young coconut flesh and added coconut water give the broth an invigorating dimension. I fed some to a sick housemate and she seemed to appreciate it.
In addition to the soup I once again made the excellent green curry, again with fish. I made this with confidence that if he other dish was a failure, at least they would eat something worth their while.
We had a wonderful lunch and once again I was blessed with a pie. I could get used to this.

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