Tom Kha Gai is a common soup found throughout Thailand and it’s neighbouring countries. Most commonly it features chicken, however it can also use prawns. At Dragonfly we took the flavours of the traditional soup and reinvented them into a salad.
Remove tendons from the tenderloin and place chicken in a heatproof bowl with water, fish sauce, soy and sugar. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight if you have time.
Once marinated, fill a steamer with water and bring to the boil. Place the bowl of chicken in the steamer and cook for 15-18 minutes. Once cooked thoroughly, remove the bowl from heat and allow to cool. Discard the liquid and gently tear chicken into thread-like pieces, place on a lined baking tray.
Preheat oven to 90ºC and oven dry the chicken pieces for 15 minutes. Tease the threads with your fingers and continue drying until the texture resembles leather. Remove from oven and allow the chicken to cool. Once cooled, tease the threads again until the chicken becomes fluffy. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
Finely slice the mushrooms and gently fry with canola oil until they become tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Halve the tomatoes, slice the spring onion and coconut flesh and pick the leaves off the mint and basil, discarding the stalks. Set aside.
Place the mung beans, tomato, spring onion, cooked mushrooms and herbs into a large bowl. Add the light coconut milk and Nahm Jim into the bowl and toss evenly. Distribute even amounts of salad in a bowl and spoon over any leftover dressing and additional herbs. Sprinkle the top of salad with the dried chicken and serve immediately.
To make Nahm Jim:
Place 290ml fish sauce and 270g finely chopped palm sugar into a medium pot and heat over a low heat until the palm sugar has dissolved, but do not let it boil.
Once the sugar is dissolved remove from the heat. Finely slice 50g coriander roots and add it to the Nahm Jim with the 5 finely chopped birds eye chillis and a clove of crushed garlic.
Add 75ml each of lemon and lime juice and stir to combine. This is a fantastic dipping sauce to have on hand or in this case a delicious salad dressing.
200g chicken tenderloin or sliced chicken breast
25ml fish sauce
25ml dark soy sauce
25g white sugar
200g straw mushrooms
50ml canola oil
100g fresh coconut flesh
100g spring onions
80g mixed colour cherry tomatoes
20g Thai basil
20g Vietnamese mint
240g fresh mung beans
50ml light coconut milk
50ml Nahm Jim (recipe below)