4 cups light vegetable broth or homemade chicken stock
14-ounce can coconut milk (full fat version)
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
8 round slices fresh galangal (or fresh ginger)
4–5 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
3 cilantro stems (leaf and stem intact)
pinch red pepper flakes or 1-2 red Thai chiles, bruised
1/4 yellow or sweet onion, sliced
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)
8–12 ounces (~2–3 cups) oyster, shiitake, or button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 tablespoon coconut aminos or 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce, Red Boat brand recommended*
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish
green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish
steamed jasmine rice
* Vegan option- substitute juice of 1/2 lime + 1 tablespoon tamari or shoyu for fish sauce
Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass to allow the flavors to infuse into the broth.
In large soup pot, heat vegetable or chicken broth and add coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, lime leaves, cilantro stems, and red pepper flakes (or Thai chiles). Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer on low for at least 20 minutes.
Using a metal skimmer or spider tool, take out solids from the broth. Or you can leave the solids in for extra flavor, and each person takes them out of their soup bowls (this is how it is often done at Thai restaurants).
Add yellow onion, mushrooms (and chicken, if using), coconut aminos (or coconut sugar), and fish sauce (or lime juice) and simmer about five minutes more, or until mushrooms and/or chicken are cooked through. Taste for seasonings. Add a little more coconut aminos, fish sauce, and/or sea salt if needed to balance flavors.
Divide soup among bowls. Serve with jasmine rice, and garnishes (cilantro, green onions, and lime wedges).