On the third day of Christmas, there was cold and flu season. Yes, while this seems odd to include in a Christmas countdown, no one is immune to the common cold. What’s more, it tends to strike around the least opportune times (i.e., during the holidays, when we have better stuff to do than being stuffed up.) Clear your sinuses with my favorite remedy, this Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup.
It’s a riff on the classic Tom Kah Gai, the delicious coconut milk soup served at every Thai restaurant. It includes mushrooms and red bell pepper, (for their anti-inflammatory properties, mostly because I love them) but you can add almost any vegetable you desire.
As with most Asian soups, the broth is the key. This one is bolstered with lemongrass, lime, a little brown sugar, ginger, and nam plah, a.k.a. fish sauce. Those of you who steer away from fish sauce, please don’t. It’s not fishy. And this broth isn’t the same without it. This is one of those recipes for which procuring all the ingredients is essential. For extra sustenance, I add rice noodles and chicken. The garnishes are also important, so don’t skimp. I add a healthy drizzle of chile oil for some sinus-clearing power, but you can also use sriracha or any other hot sauce. My son loves this “coconut soup” so I tend to let everyone add their own spice, but to make this Thai-hot, add some thai bird chiles to the broth while simmering. Delicious.
While I hope you don’t fall ill this holiday season, know you’re now armed with the sinus-clearing, age-old remedy of chicken soup, this time with a kick. Know a friend who has succumbed? Bring them a thermos of this. You’ll be on the nice list, I promise.