Thanksgiving Leftover Special: Tom Turkey Kha Gai

One of the great blessings, and curses, of Thanksgiving is leftover turkey. The next day it’s great reheated, or made into sandwiches, but by Day 3 you want something that tastes like not turkey. That’s where this spicy Thai coconut soup recipe comes in.

This is my take on Tom Kha Gai, and as usual I make no claim as to its authenticity. I do know it tastes amazing to me, and will make you forget you even roasted a turkey. There’s lots of everything going on here, so be prepared to adjust radically to your tastes. It should be fairly spicy, sweet, sour, and salty, all at the same time. 

If you can, see if you find galangal, or galanga root, as it's sometimes called. It looks like a thin-skinned ginger, with a sort of similar flavor, although people that make this soup for a living will say it's much different and far superior. I decided to use ginger, since that's what the majority of my audience will use, but I thought it was worth mentioning, in case you live in an area where this rhizome is available.      

As far as the chili oil goes, all I did was mash together a couple tablespoons of sambal with twice as much vegetable oil with a mortar and pestle. Once it settles, the gorgeous, red oil rises to the top, and you’re ready to drip. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and that some of your leftover turkey finds its way into this delicious soup. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 serving:
 6 cups turkey or chicken broth
3” piece ginger, sliced thin
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, bruised and sliced
kefir lime or lemon leaves, sliced
2 tbsp cilantro stems
1/2 tsp chili flakes, or to taste
Simmer for 15 minutes

Add:
1 pound cubed turkey or chicken
1 cup little mushrooms
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 (13-oz) can coconut milk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup green onion
2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
Chili oil, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges to garnish