When Thais elected a celebrity chef as Prime Minister in 2008, we knew that an occupation in politics wouldn't stop Samak's dedication to the cooking show Chimpai Bonpai ("Tasting, Complaining"). For anyone visiting Thailand, see this show every Saturday on Channel 5 at 4:30 PM.
Now ImportFood.com takes you behind the scenes to meet the world's first celebrity chef / prime minister! We recently joined Samak in Bangkok for the filming of his show, sat down for lunch together, talked about Thai food and shared one of his favorite soups--Tom Kha made with salmon. Here is the recipe for the soup, and we'll have more of Samak's recipes next month.
The secret to making a delicious Thai soup, according to Samak, is pounding together Thai pepper powder,corriander seed and fresh garlic in a mortar & pestle. This paste he calls "Thai MSG" and you can add it to any soup for good results. See below for the correct proportions.
You might also be interested in our excellent quality ready-made Tom Kha Soup in Pouches.
For 4 Person(s)
Bring 6 cups water to a boil and add chicken buillion. In a mortar and pestle pound the corriander seed, garlic and Thai pepper powder into a paste. Add the paste to the boiling stock. Add salmon, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and stir. Add mushrooms, followed by coconut milk. Season with fish sauce (more or less as you prefer). Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Ladle into a serving bowl and season with lime juice (quantity as you prefer), then sprinkle with mild fresh chiles such as jalapeno, red and yellow bell peppers, or any mild chile peppers in season.
Samak suggested that this be served with a special mix of steamed rice. Simply mix 80% uncookedjasmine rice with 20% uncooked sticky rice, rinse, and steam together in a rice cooker. We love this combination too! Ladle the soup over a bowl of the steamed rice, and enjoy this excellent Thai soup--from the Prime Minister to you.