Tom Kha Gai

Makes 6-8 servings

1 1” piece ginger, peeled
10 kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tbsp. lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
6 cups chicken stock
1½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1” pieces
8 ounces of mushrooms of your choice, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
2 13.5-oz. cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce 
1 tablespoon sugar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, lime wedges and sliced jalapeño (optional) (for serving)

Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

Add chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar.

Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges. And maybe a slice or two of jalapeño peppers if you're feeling wild and crazy.