Not a great picture but it's yummy I swear. You see the chicken and mushrooms and yummy flecks of chili.
Tom Kha Gai
2 cans of coconut milk
2t. palm sugar or brown sugar
3 stalks of lemon grass bottom 1/3 trimmed and outer leaves discarded chopped in chunks and bruised with your knife
2 shallots diced
1/2c. of cilantro
4c. chicken broth
5 1 inch chunks of galanga ( you can get this asian ginger at asian markets)
5 kaffir lime leaves crushed/bruised
3T. red curry paste or more if you like it spicier.
2-3 thai chilies bruised
Mix altogether over stove and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
If you want you can remove the leaves, galanga and lemon grass but traditionally they leave it in and you pick them out as you eat the soup.
Add: 2-3 Chicken breast diced
8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
simmer until chicken is done about 8 minutes.
Add: 3Tbsp of fish sauce simmer 1 minute more then serve with cilantro and sliced green onions
It should have a balanced taste of salty, sweet, creamy, herbal, sour and spicy. You can add fish sauce to make it saltier, sugar obviously for sweet, coconut milk for creamy and if its too spicy it will cool it down. chilis for heat and sour will be from lemongrass, lime leaves and if you need more sour notes add 1-2 T. lime juice.