Coconut curry soup explosion

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
¼ pounds Soba noodles OR- dried thin spaghetti
2 teaspoons Coconut milk
2 cups Chicken broth
1 \N Lemongrass stalk (no leaves) cut into 1-inch lengths
4 slices Fresh galangal (thin slices) OR ginger
3 tablespoons Fish sauce
1 tablespoon Curry powder (or more)
2 teaspoons Grated lime peel (or finely minced)
2 tablespoons Lime juice
4 \N Hot red chilies seeded and slivered; -OR- Chinese chili sauce
4 \N Chicken breast halves (skinless and boneless)
1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil
8 \N Button mushrooms
\N \N Salt; to taste
\N \N Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

ADVANCE PREPARATION: Bring 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add the noodles and cook until just tender in the center, about 5 minutes.

Immediately drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Mix in the cooking oil and set aside.

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the coconut milk, broth, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, fish sauce, curry powder, lime peel and juice, and chilies or chili sauce. Set aside.

Cut the chicken into very thin bite-size pieces, then mix with the sesame oil. Thinly slice the mushrooms and set aside.

LAST-MINUTE COOKING: Bring the soup to a simmer and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and stir gently with a spoon to separate the pieces. Then add the mushrooms, noodles and salt. Turn into a soup tureen or individual bowls and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve at once.

Serves: 4 as an entree, or 6 to 8 as the soup course.

Source: Chopstix - by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison ISBN: 1-55670-133-0

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