This is a local recipe from Rayong, on Thailand's eastern seaboard. Namsai means clear soup, and this is unusual because it's tom kha without the coconut milk. The key ingredient is the dipping sauce. Locals in Rayong dip seafood and other meat into this sauce, and the sauce is even poured directly over jasmine rice and eaten. The sauce is a little bit like our seafood dipping sauce.
We love the flavor of this soup. Prepare it with the best chicken you can find. We used organic free-range chicken breast, and the result was unforgettable.
For 4 Person(s)
In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chiles together, but do not over pound it. You should still be able to see chiles and garlic. Add lime juice, fish sauce, salt and sugar. Stir this together until the liquid is dissolved, and the taste should be sour, salty and spicy (priow, kem, ped).
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add chicken. Reduce heat to medium/low. Skim the foam off the top in order to make your soup clear. Add sliced galangal, and salt. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, or until meat is tender, and soup is slightly sweet and aromatic.
Serve the soup in a bowl, garnished with spring onion and cilantro. With the dipping sauce on the side, serve it with chopsticks. Use the chopsticks to pickup the chicken chunks and dip it into the sauce, pickup up some chiles and garlic. Serve with jasmine rice.