One of my favourite things to do when Dave Sawchuk used to work at the Zone was hit Fairways and hope… HOPE that Wicked Thai soup was on the burner.
Dave is gone, and my day is filled with a void. I still wander to Fairways, and sure…its nice when Wicked Thai is being served…but its not the same. Dave one time was so fired up on the Thai soup, he bought every single bowl and sold them out of it, to teach them a lesson! WTF? Then he brought it back to the Zone and served it up to all the workers.
He often talked of opening a soup stand on Quadra just outside Fairways, that sold ONLY Wicked Thai soup.
Our holy grail of cooking was to find a delicious replica that we could make at home and take the power back from Fairways.
I am happy to report that today, Coral found the recipe.
Wicked Thai Chicken Soup
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (a standard size tray package)
4 cups chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, cut into small dice
2 Tbsp. Gourmet Garden™ Lemon Grass herb paste (the stuff in the tube or the real thing, if you can find it)
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup half and half (10%) cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili paste (or Sriracha, as an alternative but you may need less)
2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste (to taste)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups cooked rice (long grain white or brown rice or try a mix of long grain with wild rice for some added texture)
Fresh cilantro, parsley or basil leaves shredded for garnish
Cook rice and set aside (or use left-over cooked rice).
Heat large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook until golden and tender. Remove to a plate. In same pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat. Add onion, red pepper, and saute just until softened. Return mushrooms to pot. Add broth and chicken and heat through. Add lemon grass paste, fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Add milk, turn heat to low, then cover and simmer 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, add curry paste, Sambal Oelek, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp. water and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Stir into soup until combined and heat until soup simmers, thickens very slightly and has a velvety appearance. Add cooked rice, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (You can also add more curry paste, tomato paste and/or Sambal Oelek to taste at this point, as well).
Pour soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, parsley or basil leaves and serve with additional Sambal Oelek for those who prefer a hotter soup.
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 2 hours 20 min
Yield: 6-8 servings
Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe
We cooked it up tonight and yeah… pretty rad. I couldn’t track down the lemongrass paste. Fairways was out of red curry paste so I used green… and we had no cornstarch. But it still worked out amazing.
Thought I better find you a song to go with your Wicked Thai Soup. Now the track that popped into my head right away was the Alex Chilton jam, “Bangkok.” Listening right now, I realize, this song is a little racist.
It is from 1978 when you could sing bizarrely inaccurate racial generalizations… and the dude has since shuffled off the mortal coil, so we might have to forgive the transgression and jump into the song.
Alex Chilton – “Bangkok”
Go with yourself.