Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

May 31, 2011
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Tom Kha Gai is a creamy, aromatic, and zesty soup that is distinctly Thai. Made with coconut milk, chicken, lemongrass, galangal, and chili, its very easy to make but certainly delivers impressive flavors! I made this for my website: Hope you like it! —thaifoodie

Test Kitchen Notes

This happens to be one of my favorite Thai soups, so I was so excited to try this recipe. It is savory in comparison to other Tom Kha Gai I have tried, but I really enjoyed the final dish. The soup offers a lot of layers of flavor, and I think it could even simmer a bit longer to really enhance those nuances. I recommend pulling out the lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves before serving (maybe before adding the chicken and the mushrooms?). I think this is a great base for a variety of different proteins (would be lovely with white fish), and I will add it to my repertoire when I want a more savory soup. —figgypudding

  • Serves 4
  • 500 milliliters coconut milk
  • 200 grams sliced chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium tomato, chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped into chunks
  • 2 cups mushrooms (preferably straw mushrooms), chopped in half
  • 1 small red chili (add another if you'd like more spice)
  • 1 piece galangal, 1 inch long
  • 1 piece lemongrass, white part only, chopped in half
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 1 shallot, chopped in thirds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander leaves
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, stem removed
In This Recipe
  1. In a medium saucepan or wok bring the coconut milk to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat and add the galangal, chilli, lime leaf, and lemongrass. Simmer the coconut milk for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavours of the herbs and spices to infuse into the coconut milk.
  3. Add the sliced chicken and cook until the chicken turns white. Next add fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. If you wish to increase the volume of liquid, you can add some liquid chicken stock at this point. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the onion, tomato, and mushrooms to the soup and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir through the shallot and coriander. Serve with a side of steamed rice.

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