Hot and Sour Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Kai)

By • January 18, 2012 4 Comments

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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

  • 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
  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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