Martha Stewart's Slow-Cooker Tom Kha Gai

September 13, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Reprinted from Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker. Copyright © 2017 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Stephen Kent Johnson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

While this soup can be made on the stovetop in under an hour, it benefits from a longer spell in the slow cooker. The lemongrass and lime leaves infuse more flavor into the broth and the tender, moist chicken thighs.

Food52 Review: Featured in: 10 Slow-Cooker Recipes Made for Fall TV Binges.The Editors

Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 6 hrs


  • 3 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh galangal or ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, halved, or 6 strips lime zest with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 Thai bird chiles
  • 1 1/2 pounds pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Thai basil, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Chili oil sauce, for serving
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat a 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. On a cutting board, using the side of a chef’s knife, lightly smash lemongrass. Combine lemongrass, broth, fish sauce, sugar, galangal, lime leaves, shallot, chiles, chicken, and mushrooms in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until chicken is cooked through, about 2 1/2 hours (or on low for 5 hours).
  3. Add coconut milk and carrot, and cook on high 30 minutes longer (or on low for 1 hour). Stir in lime juice, cilantro, basil, and scallion. Top with cilantro and basil, and serve with chili oil sauce.
  4. Tip: Chili oil sauce—a mixture of ground dried chiles, soybean oil, garlic, and sesame oil—is sold in Asian markets and even many supermarkets. It can be used in any recipe that calls for red-pepper flakes.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Thai|Chicken|Cilantro|Coconut|Lemongrass|Lime Juice|Milk/Cream|Shallot|Green Onion/Scallion|Carrot|Slow Cook

Reviews (2) Questions (0)

2 Reviews

FrugalCat December 29, 2018
Extremely awesome flavor. I did make quite a few substitutions (all in the same flavor family)- turbinado sugar, scotch bonnet for the Thai bird chilies, parsley and more cilantro for the Thai Basil, garlic for the shallot. I get shittake mushrooms cheap at my local Asian grocery.
Linda D. October 4, 2018
Absolutely delicious! I used 6 strips of the lime zest, three hot peppers I had on hand from the Farmers' Market, 4 cups of Swanson's chicken stock, and dried basil. This is more flavorful than what I have had at Thai restaurants and since it was not much trouble, I am sure I will prepare this again.