I love remaking some of my favorite dishes from restaurants. This one comes from my favorite restaurant in Birmingham – yes you guessed it, Surin. For the 10 years I have been going to this restaurant my order never changes (well except for the 9 months of pregnancy I could not have sushi). I get a volcano roll which is spicy tuna and cucumber on the inside and tuna, avocado, eel sauce on the outside with the best spicy aioli ever made. I also get an order of crab angels (also known as crab rangoon).
But one of the things I love most is the complimentary bowl of Coconut Tofu Soup that comes out before the meal.
I knew I had to reinvent this dish since I could enjoy it during our monthly visits back home. I mean let’s be honest I was indulging in this meal probably once a week when we were living there. After perfecting the recipe I decided to kick it up a notch by making it a little spicy. So feel free to omit some of the chili oil if you want it a little less spicy.
- 6 lemongrass stalks (remove lower bulb & outer sheath and cut into 3 inch pieces)*
- 1½ tsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste (you can find this in the ethnic food section; use half of this amount if you want a less spicy soup)
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (ethnic food section)
- 6 c. chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp. red pepper oil/ red chili oil (ethnic food section, use half of this amount if you want a less spicy soup or substitute olive oil
- 4 ounces of mushrooms
- 2 scallions
- Tofu cut into small cubes, optional
- Heat chili oil in a stockpot on medium -low heat. Add lemongrass (or lemon zest), garlic and ginger. Cook. Stirring constantly so it won't burn for 30-60 sec until it becomes aromatic. Add curry paste, cook for about 30 sec.
- Add 3 cups of chicken stock to dissolve the curry paste. Stir until it dissolves. Add remaining stock, fish sauce, and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- If adding mushrooms, add about 5 min before next step. If adding tofu cook as directed on package then add in.
- Stir in coconut milk and lime juice. Cook for 5 min. Remove lemongrass with strainer, if you used this.
Are you like me – do you have a favorite dish at a restaurant that you always order and vow to never try anything else again?