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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Authentic Thai Coconut Soup

My concoction of this recipe, Authentic Thai Coconut Soup, did NOT look anything like this photo. So, either the photo is a fake or I did something completely wrong (which is probably the case).

In my despair of observing my failed masterpiece, I wondered why in the hell I was trying to learn to cook at this stage of life (post children and pre-retirement). I mean, why not learn pole dancing or to finally play the piano?

I then remembered the moment of answering that question of "now what?" It was after I acquired my Qigong Therapy certificate and started my Qigong practice. I realized that since nutrition is one of the foundations of health and wellness, and most restaurants and prepared foods are filled with preservatives and chemicals, I had to learn to cook. I mean, have you ever read a food label? Chemicals! Most of the food in that product is filled with preservatives, and most of that food was grown with pesticides imbedded in their internal cells! The result is our body doesn't know how to use those foreign agents. Eventually the organs will give up trying to figure it out and say "to hell with you! You figure it out!" The result is there a lot of people with low energy, low libido, chronic disease, cancer, or even psych problems.  Hence, my new adventure - learn to cook with real food and heal the world!

My cooking goal has been to create foods that are a delight the eye, as well as the palette (connect with the soul), but are also good for the body.  Health and wellness for the body, mind, and soul is my new mantra.

So, here is that damn recipe.  Maybe yours will look more like the photo.

Authentic Thai Coconut Soup  (from Allrecipes)

"Galangal and Kaffir lime leaves are combined with coconut milk and shrimp to create a delicious Thai soup. If you have all the ingredients on hand it's easy to put together and makes the perfect comfort food. If not, it only takes one trip the Asian market. It's so versatile you can make it vegetarian or substitute chicken for shrimp. Enjoy!!"

1 pound medium shrimp - peeled and
2 (13.5 ounce) cans canned coconut milk
2 cups water
1 (1 inch) piece galangal, thinly sliced
4 stalks lemon grass, bruised and
10 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the shrimp until cooked, about one minute. Drain shrimp, and set aside.
  2. Pour the coconut milk and 2 cups of water in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer. Add the galangal, lemon grass, and lime leaves; simmer for 10 minutes, or until the flavors are infused. 
  3. Strain the coconut milk into a new pan and discard the spices. Simmer the shiitake mushrooms in the coconut milk for five minutes.
  4. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar. 
  5. Season to taste with curry powder.
To serve, reheat shrimp in the soup, and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with green onion and red pepper flakes.