Fall

Hot and Sour Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Kai)

January 18, 2012
Author Notes

This is the Thai version of chicken soup. Great for rainy days. It's just sour enough to initially tease your taste buds. What follows is a tummy coating of rich coconut milk, hearty chicken, exotic spices and enough citrus and greens to make each sip as refreshing as it is comforting. —edamame2003

  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut in rings
  • 1" pieces galangal or ginger, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves (optional, but really adds to the fragrance)
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeds removed dependent on how spicy
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 limes, juice (or to taste)
  • fish sauce (to taste)
  • 1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • green onion (garnish)
  • cilantro (garnish)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Give the lemongrass, galangal, garlic a smash with the back side of a knife or in a mortar.
  2. Dice the shallot, thinly slice the kaffir lime leaves. Toast the ingredients to release the aroma.
  3. Add water and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes and allow the ingredients to steep for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced chicken and allow to cook in the soup until the chicken is cooked; about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and allow to boil. Lower the heat and scoop out the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves.
  6. Squeeze in the lime juice to taste; add fish sauce and serrano pepper.
  7. Add mushrooms (optional) and allow to simmer for about a minute.
  8. Garnish with chopped green onion and cilantro.
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I work in the entertainment business, and in my free time, I really enjoy growing my own vegetables, trolling my local farmers markets and trying to re-create yummy dishes I eat at my favorite restaurants. My son is a big influence on how and what I cook. He's my guinea pig and promises to try anything I make once. Luckily the recipes on food52 are bountiful and delicious.