I have never been a big fan of Thai food. Yeah I like Phat Thai- it's good but that is about it. I dont know if my tastes changed but I have reconsidered my earlier decisions. While in Ithaca my husband and I visited a restaurant called Tamarind. Thai? What the heck made me choose Thai? Well, I saw a menu and there was fish balls on there. I use to eat this amazing soup with fish balls in Arizona- a Vietnamese place. So I went there for the balls (eh hem). Never ordered them. I was distracted. Way distracted. There was a ton of duck dishes on the menu. I am not a big fan of duck because any duck I have ever had was swimming in a pool of grease. Poor me- boy, have I been missing out. My husband was debating between two duck dishes ( he is the more couragous eater). One was Chochee Duck and the other Honey Roasted Duck. We asked our very sweet waitress which one he should order. She said the Chochee Duck was THE most popular dish. I had a suspicion there duck was going to be good. Why would they have a ton of it on the menu? Oh yeah. He let me eat a piece. Yup 'A' piece. It was the most succulent, light and tastey piece of meat, yes meat, I have ever had. Of course I had to ask what kind of duck this was. The lovely waitress said, "Our chefs our trained to make this secret recipe for preparing duck, found only in one area of Thailand." (I don't think I will find a recipe for it).
I can not wait to get back to Ithaca to have some of my own Chochee Duck!
But okay on to the recipe at hand. Our first course was soup. This soup and really minus the kaffir lime leaves, it is basically the same exact soup. I am happy to find this recipe because Ithaca is a long way away!
Oh and what did I have? A yellow curry rice dish with pineapple, raisins, shrimp, chicken and Chinese sausage. Yummy. For dessert we shared sticky mango rice. Delicious.
Thai Coconut and Shrimp Soup (Tom Kha)
adapted from Allrecipes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemon grass, minced
2 teaspoons red curry paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 (13.5 ounce) can lite coconut milk
1 can regular coconut milk
1/2 pound fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 pound medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice; season with salt; garnish with cilantro.