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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

21 REASONS TO JOIN (OR RE-JOIN) OUR CSA THIS FALL

09/30/16 — Heydon Hatcher

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Could it be? Is it finally here? These fall breezes have us woozy with excitement. This week we sat down and listed a handful of reasons why you should sign up for a CSA with us! Are you a lapsed CSA member? Maybe it's time to ponder re-joining us! We miss you! With the influx of delectable leafy-green-heavy crops and autumn in the air, 'tis the season to join our farm community and get yourself a CSA share!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

1. SUPPORT LOCAL

By joining our CSA, you are supporting a locally owned and operated business. Buying local helps our economy as well as supply jobs and support the livelihood of fellow Austinites. Unique local businesses are part of what makes Austin and Texas so special!

Our CSA can augment your regular weekly shopping list, ensuring that you have some of that scrumptious local produce in your diet, too! A little goes a long way!

2. Good for your Health

Farm-fresh vegetables are jam packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Two and a half cups a day says the FDA? Ain’t no thang with a CSA headed your way.

3. Freshest-Possible Veggies

Cultivated in East Austin and harvested no more than a day or two before reaching your doorstep, these vegetables are at peak nutrition and flavor. Getting a CSA share with JBG means you know exactly where your food is coming from and how it's grown. GMO? Heck no! Come out for a volunteer day, see your crops in the field, and ask your farmers about it!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

4. Know your Seasons

Eating locally connects you to the seasons, to the land, and to your own health and wellness. Cucumbers will cool you down in the summer, while braised collards will warm you up when the temperatures start to drop. Enjoy the best pico de gallo of your life during the short window when cilantro, onions, peppers, and tomatoes all overlap, and we promise you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff again. You'll get acclimated with the seasons on a whole new level, and learn about what naturally grows when and why.

5. Try New Foods

With farmers who are constantly chompin’ at the bit to try a new crop, who knows what will show up in your CSA box. From the array of Asian greens to the broad pepper spectrum, keep your mind wide open to a whole new world of vegetables you never even knew existed.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

6. Experiment in the Kitchen

With JBG veggies arriving every week, you will have to innovate in the kitchen. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!

7. Protecting our Environment

By supporting JBG, you are ensuring sustainable land management, and organic certification guarantees that we never spray harmful chemicals on the farm.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

8. Reduce Food Miles

It's estimated that the average American meal travels over 1500 miles before making it to a dinner plate. With all of that fuel, even a plant-based meal might not be so eco-friendly. We do wave at the planes going by, though, our farm is just 10 miles east of the Austin-Bergstrom airport!

9. Flexibility

Gone on vacation for a week or a month? No problemo, we make it super easy to postpone your weekly deliveries. Got a big family, or just feeding yourself? We have 4 different box sizes that cater to your lifestyle. JBG also offers add-ons of local eggs from pasture-raised hens, and small batch locally roasted coffee as well. Customize your box with your favorite veggie and ditch the ones you aren’t keen on.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

10. Get involved with our CSA Community

With member-only dinners, happy hours, plant sales, cooking classes, yoga + races at the farm, PYO-events, we really emphasize the “C” of CSA. We want the farm to connect awesome people, whether at one of the aforementioned events or at your community pick-up site! Speaking of exclusive farm events, be sure to join the fun at our upcoming CSA Member Potluck on 10/22!

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11. JBG on the WWW

On our website, you can stay current on farm events, sign up for our weekly newsletter, grab storage tips from our veggie guide, check out the weekly CSA content list, peruse weekly photo-updates from the field, and check out our recipe blogger’s latest CSA culinary exploration.

12. Farm Community on the WWW

If our website isn’t enough, our CSA community loves sharing how they innovate with their veggies on social media outlets. Check out our Instagram or FB, we love re-posting awesome recipes, photos, and videos from the community. Running low on recipe ideas, and want to see what other folks are doing with our produce? Check out our jbgorganic hashtag!

Potluck. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Potluck. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

13. Farm Access

Located on the Colorado River, JBG’s 200 acres of verdant crops and brilliant blooms are often otherworldly. As a CSA member, you will have access to our little oasis of wilderness whether it be at a JBG CSA event, or through volunteering!

14. Know your Farmers

Montana seeds the crops, Ada champions our marketing efforts, Brenton and Charlotte manage the fields, Krishna crunches numbers, Matt and his crew carefully pack every single CSA box... we love our people, and think you will, too. Come and meet us, we are regular Austin folks, just like you.

Charlotte. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Charlotte. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

15. Farmers Markets

If you pick up at one of our many farmer’s markets, you have the ability to switch out veggies that you aren't fond of with the bounty we offer at our FM stands. Pretty cool, right? On top of that, it’ll get you outside interacting with people, and who knows what hip and healthy folks you’ll meet!

16. Farmers Market Staff

Our FM staff is the best in the biz (okay, okay, we are super biased), but seriously, introduce yourself! They know all the veggie hacks, hail from all over the place, and have all kinds of talents and alter-egos. Artists, teachers, law students, musicians, dreamers, writers, you name it! Bop on by and learn something new while browsing through our market crops!

17. Feed Those in Need

Thanks to the support of our CSA members, JBG is able to donate thousands of pounds of produce every year to large operations like SafePlace, Central Texas Food Bank, as well as grassroots efforts like Nubian Queen Lola who are all helping to keep Austin’s hungry, nurtured and fed.

SafePlace. Photo by Scott David Gordon. SafePlace. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

18. WACKY and WONKY FRUITS and VEGGIES


19. JBG hats

Reppin’ on your head but not on your plate? Add some JBG veggies to your diet and see what we’re all about.

20. FOOD MAIL!?

In a world where the fast-paced, high tech lifestyle seems ubiquitous, who doesn’t love a box full of veg-surprises on your doorstep?! It’s like food snail mail! We sometimes even leave little personal notes about what's going on with the crops and/or upcoming events! 

21. Farm Work-out Videos!



#tbt to the glorious day, about a year ago, when Erica Nix and her amazing flock jazzed up the farm.

A photo posted by Johnson's Backyard Garden (@jbgorganic) on


Eat healthy AND get movin'! Check out more of the actual video here.

 

Think you know a friend who needs some reasons to join the CSA? Please consider sharing this article with them!

***Contributions by Nellie Stephenson + Ada Broussard

WEEK 39 IN PHOTOS

09/30/16 — Heydon Hatcher

160929_sdg297753by Charlotte and Kenny

Rain over the weekend put us at a stand-still early in the week, so we are taking care of projects around the farm like fixing implements and weed-eating. We're loving this cool weather, and crossing our fingers that it sticks around for good. Asian greens and our new salad/braising mixes are super delicious... we are making salads every day and loving every minute of it! As of last Friday, the first artichokes are in the ground, too!

Butterfly migration has started, so we are seeing more of their pretty pollinating selves in the fields. Our cover crop of Sunn Hemp is full of bright yellow flowers which is attracting even more pollinators as well! Check out their brilliant blooms below!

Harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Vicente on bok choy harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Vicente on bok choy harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bird's eye bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bird's eye bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion greens texture. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion greens texture. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion greens harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion greens harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse construction. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greenhouse construction. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Brenton in Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Brenton in Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Roxy and Brenton in the Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Roxy and Brenton in the Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sunn Hemp bloom. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sunn Hemp blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sunn Hemp forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sunn Hemp forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Watering transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Watering transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

 

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 26TH

09/28/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 26th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 26th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Dino
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Lemongrass
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Pepper, Italian Yellow
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Patty Pan
Turnip, White Japanese
Medium Box
Bok Choy
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Small Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Greens, Sweet Potato
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Potato, Sweet
Turnip, White Japanese

HONEYDEW MINT SORBET

09/28/16 — Heydon Hatcher

img_3094by Megan Winfrey

Fall has officially arrived, in our CSA boxes as well as in the cool breezes we've enjoyed this week. Hasn't it been amazing? My recipe for this week spans the seasonal gap and will give you one last taste of summer. So simple and refreshing, this will surely become one of your favorite ways to use your melon bounty until the actual end of the season (which we know can take awhile in Texas). There are tons of different combinations to experiment with such as cantaloupe and honey, watermelon and lime, honeydew and jasmine, the list goes on and on! So have fun with this one, and know you're not getting the added sugar of the store bought stuff.

Honeydew Mint Sorbet
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 1 cup mint simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
For simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup packed fresh mint (stems ok)
 

Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut away the rind. Dice the flesh into 1" pieces and lay out evenly on a sheet pan. Freeze for 1 hour and up to 6.

Prepare the mint simple syrup by adding the water and sugar to a sauce pan. Roughly chop the mint, add to the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then strain into a clean bowl using a fine mesh strainer. Press down on the mint to release as much liquid as possible. Leftovers of this simple syrup will stay fresh for 2 weeks in the fridge, in a sealed container.

In a high powered blender or ice cream machine, combine the frozen melon, mint syrup, fresh mint leaves, and lemon juice. Blend on high until completely smooth. Pour into an airtight glass container and freeze until solid. Eat within the week for best results!

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** I added about 1/4 cup of water to the blender in order to get everything smooth, and I shouldn't have. My final product was a bit ice-y and the flavor became somewhat muted. It was also difficult to scoop and I couldn't get pretty round scoops like I'd wanted. It is still DELICIOUS and I've mostly been sharing it with my toddler and making fizzy cocktails with it. Next time instead of water, I'll add more simple syrup, more lemon juice, or another fresh fruit juice.

**BONUS RECIPE**

That's a lot of green on those plates! Photo by Kate Tynan. That's a lot of green on those plates! Photo by Kate Tynan.

After Heydon's super informative blog post on Asian greens last week, I feel compelled to share the simplest, most delicious salad with y'all. It's a real crowd pleaser and literally has 5 ingredients - lemon, olive oil, salt, fresh grated parmesan, and greens. My friend made a GIANT bowl of this salad at her recent birthday celebration. Not one leaf went uneaten and I heard nearly every single person mention how utterly delicious it was. I know right, how can such a simple salad be so good? It's because it allows the flavor of the greens to really shine through. I wouldn't make this salad with iceberg, but pick any of the Asian greens JBG is offering and you'll be good to go.

I like to mix a bag of arugula with a bag of the braising mix - which consists of red mustard, green mustard, tatsoi, and Chinese cabbage - in a huge bowl, add the other ingredients to taste, and consume the entire thing in one sitting. Now that's getting your greens!

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ASIAN GREENS: DEMYSTIFIED

09/23/16 — Heydon Hatcher

TGIF, y’all! If you’ve visited us at the farmers’ markets lately, you might have noticed the influx of leafy greens at our stand. Despite the steady face-melting temps, the crops are telling us that Fall is in fact on our doorstep. But, before you start pulling out your coziest Autumn sweaters in anticipation, let’s ponder a likely scenario... As you were perusing the medley of different greens this past weekend, grabbing a handful of kale, then moving onto the display of collards, you happen upon a mysterious and enticing bunch of greens. Perplexed by its shroud of enigma, you look around to your fellow market-goers for answers… What is it? Where did it come from? To your dismay, none of your market buddies know either! Fret not, farm friends, for what you most likely discovered was one of the many Asian greens that we have rolling out to market this season. This week, we hope to lay to rest some of your lingering inquiries, and make these puzzling and hard-to-identify leafy greens more accessible.

Market greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Market greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

We all know leafy greens are healthy... but why? Well, the nutritional value of the spectrum of dark, leafy greens boasts tons of potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the list goes on! Vegan or lactose intolerant? These greens are a great source of calcium and iron as well. Chock full of carotenoids, flavenoids + antioxidants, integrating any and all leafy greens into your diet can ultimately aid in immune function, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. With tons of dietary fiber and low in calories, these veggies are great for weight maintenance, too. The USDA suggests that adults consume at least three cups of leafy greens per week, but with all that flavor, why not more? If these benefits aren’t a catalyst for you to step out of your “kale + collards comfort zone” (as Ada calls it) and explore the varying hues of green, we don’t know what else will!

Bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bok Choy - Translated directly from Cantonese, bok choy means ‘white vegetable’. Probably the most recognizable of all the Asian greens, this white-stemmed crop is a part of the Brassicaceae family (Fun fact: these guys are relatives of the turnip!) and also a type of Chinese cabbage. If you’ve been to a Chinese restaurant, you have probably seen this green offered on the menu as an ingredient augmenting a meaty dish or sauteed by itself.  When cooking, the greens’ texture turns silky and the stems remain pretty crunchy.  Ever had baby bok choy?  This crop is delectable in any state of maturation. Grab a bunch of these mild greens next time you are at the market!

Choi Sum. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Choi Sum. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Choi Sum - Identified most easily by it’s dainty (and ever-so-tasty) yellow blooms and long stems, it is also a part of the Brassicaceae fam.  Translated as “vegetable stem” from Cantonese, choy sum boasts “a flavor between cabbage and spinach, sweet with a kick” says Mike Mo. A staff favorite here at JBG, this crop is great raw in a salad, stir-fried with other veggies, or a quick saute.  If you want to impress your dinner guests, add the flowers to any salad. Not only is it a beautiful embellishment, but also a tasty addition. Check out the Staff Survey below for some recipe ideas.

Tatsoi. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tatsoi. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tatsoi - With an aesthetic similar to that of a baby bok choy, these dark green and very round leaves with their mild taste have become increasingly popular in North American cuisine.  Likened to spinach, tatsoi has an almost creamy texture when cooked.  This tenacious little crop thrives in cooler temperatures, and can even survive below freezing!  Our resident recipe-blogger delved into a cooking escapade with this green last week, check out this simple yet yummy dish!

Komatsuna. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Komatsuna. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Komatsuna - Hailing from Japan, this crop translates literally as “greens of Komatsu” (fun fact: named after a town that used to heavily cultivate this leafy green in the 1600s, Komatsugawa). Sometimes confused for tatsoi, komatsuna has lighter green and glossier leaves, with thinner and longer stems. Otherwise known as Japanese mustard spinach, this vegetable is great steamed or added to a salad.

Braising Mix. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Braising Mix. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Braising Mix - We know that this little bag of unidentifiable greens can sometimes be daunting, but this mixture of leafy deliciousness could add tons of flavor to a soup, or just dump it out and eat it raw, simple as that! The perfect amalgam of mild and spicy, this power-green combo is a mix of red mustard, green mustard, tatsoi, and Chinese cabbage.

Hon Tsai Tai. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Hon Tsai Tai. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Hon Tsai Tai - Identified most easily by it’s long, purple-y stems, hon tsai tai has a slightly sweet, mild taste. Like choi sum, this crop grows beautiful and sweet little yellow flowers that you will sometimes spot when you are sifting through the bin at market. This fun-to-say crop could be the new champion of your signature salad or soup!  Give it a try!

Still confused? We hear ya, it can be super bewildering, but hopefully we painted a more understandable picture of the plethora of Asian greens we offer. If you are overwhelmed by all the recipes and are having a hard time utilizing any of the aforementioned greens, just treat ‘em like spinach (that’s what we do)!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Staff Survey: What is your favorite Asian green, and how do you use it?

Matt: Choi sum. I was eating the flowers raw last weekend. Tastes like broccoli. Great stir fried with other veggies.

Tracy: Braising mix. On a sandwich with horseradish white cheddar, spicy brown mustard, ham and pepperoni with a generous bed of braising mix. Super spicy!

Ada: Choi sum. Super quick saute, beginning with stems and followed by leaves and flowers. Quick dash of soy, squeeze of lemon, and black pepper. Put on everything, or eat alone. YUM.

Charlotte: I second Ada and Matt! Choi sum, raw or sauteed is mind-blowing.

Ciara Peacock: I like using the big Bok Choy leaves to make wraps, as an alternative to tortillas. So sturdy and flavorful!

 

Save the date! Don’t miss our CSA Members Only Potluck on 10/22 and a Farm Tour with Slow Food Austin on 10/23!

WEEK 38 IN PHOTOS

09/23/16 — Heydon Hatcher

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This week we went to SafePlace, an amazing organization doing critical work to keep women and families who have suffered from domestic abuse, nurtured and fed, with Jake Sussman, founder of Music, Tech & Food. From the money raised at Music, Tech & Food's various food drives, we were able to resume our sponsored share program donations to SafePlace (we've been delivering here for 5 years!). Each week, we deliver fresh veggies (a welcomed change of pace as most of the donations are in the form of canned goods) to the shelter so that clients have access to healthy meals. They are in constant need of volunteers to help out in the pantry if you want to get involved

We also visited the ladies running the HOPE Farmers Market this past Sunday, listened to some live tunes, and vegged out.  At River Road, we are busy planting cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, endive, bok choy, fennel, dill, beets, carrots, parsley, cilantro, and eleven (can you believe it?) new radish varieties.  We are drowning in Asian greens, too!  Check out the main post this week if you want to learn more about these interesting and new leafy greens!

160918_sdg296596 Racquel re-stocking sunflowers. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Family fun-times at market. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Family fun-times at market. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Looks radish-ing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Looks radish-ing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Soup, anyone? Photo by Scott David Gordon. Soup, anyone? Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Morgan with a melon pass-off. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Morgan with a melon pass-off. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Startin' 'em young. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Startin' 'em young. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

The HOPE crew. Photo by Scott David Gordon. The HOPE crew, Morgan, Holly + Racquel, thanks for all the hard work in the heat! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Early morning harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Early morning harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kale details. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growin' greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dainty blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dainty blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fall green galore. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall crops. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Cheesin'. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Cheesin'. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplants going in. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplants going in. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Escarole harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Escarole harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Curly kale. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Curly kale. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Montana, checkin' out the situation. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Montana, checkin' out the situation. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fall crops filling in. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall crops filling in. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tractor times at JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tractor times at JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tractor portrait. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tractor portrait. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet potato blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet potato blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

 

TOM KHA GAI

09/21/16 — Heydon Hatcher

img_2813by Megan Winfrey

This citrusy, creamy, spicy soup is everything I could ever want in a meal. I crave it year round, but I could eat it every day during winter. It has all of my favorites - lime, cilantro, ginger, chicken, mushrooms, fresh chilies, and creamy coconut. It might just be my "last meal" meal. Until making it, I didn't realize that lemongrass played such a huge role in the amazing flavor of my favorite dish. But WOAH - I can't believe how delicious and fresh lemongrass broth is. So, if you've received these grassy stalks in your CSA box or have seen them at the market, you've gotta make this ASAP! I didn't have time to hit up the Asian grocery store, so I used basic substitutions for a few of the more obscure ingredients and it turned out perfect. You might even have all of the ingredients already on hand!

Tom Kha Gai
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz. ea.) full fat coconut milk
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 2" pieces, crushed
  • 6 slices peeled fresh ginger (or 8 slices peeled fresh galangal)
  • Zest of 1 large lime (or 16 kaffir lime leaves, torn)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbs. Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbs. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. Asian chili hot sauce
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 5 small fresh chilies sliced paper-thin
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
*I used the bottom of a spice jar to crush the lemongrass.

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In a large pot, combine broth, lemongrass, ginger, and lime zest. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat, add the coconut milk, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce, stir well, then let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until tender, another 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer for another minute. Ladle into bowls, top with fresh cilantro leaves, and float the chili slices on the surface. Serve over cooked white rice, if desired.

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