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20 February 2012

Tom Kha Shrimp and Scallop (Thai Soup)

We recommend making bone broths regularly, for the minerals and collagen extracted from the bone and joint tissue. The broths can be drank as a beverage, used in cooking (eg in making rice), and used as the base for soups, curries, and stews.

We make broth most Saturdays, and use it throughout the week. For an example of how to make broth, see Bone Broth Revisited; and Pumpkin Soup, Oct 3, 2011. The nature of the broth depends on the type of bones you get. Marrow bones create a fattier broth; bones with joint tissue attached create a collagen-rich gelatin; bare bones create a mineral-rich watery broth. If you start with marrow and joint bones, then the first broth will have all the fat, the first and second will have a lot of collagen, and later batches will become progressively more watery.
Since broth itself has a mild taste, it can be the foundation for a great diversity of soups. Once you have broth, most soups can be made very quickly – often in 10 minutes.

Tom Kha Gai, or chicken galangal soup, is a classic dish of Thai cuisine. It’s always made with coconut milk and usually lemongrass (which has a mild citrus flavor) and some kind of spicy flavor.

Of course, there’s no need to use chicken, and we generally prefer seafood, ruminant meats, eggs, and even duck to chicken. In today’s recipe, we used shrimp and scallops as our meats.