Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

What twist do you add on a classic chicken soup? A few months ago, I was trying to figure out a theme for the next cooking session with my group of friends. I was out of ideas and decided to let my brother to choose one. The theme was unusual and was not sure if it was going to work. He suggested to my friends to create a dish which starts with the letter T. I was amazed how well this theme works. As usual, we always have a full course meal: soup, appetizers, main dish, sides and dessert.

Let's start with the soup. My Australian friend decided to make a Thai coconut soup, which consists of coconut milk, galanga, lemongrass and chicken. I really enjoyed the soup, one sip of the soup will burst your mouth with sweet, sour and spicy flavors. This is great for the cold times. Try it out, you won't regret it!

Serves 8
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Printable Recipe


4 cups chicken broth
15-20 kaffir lime leaves
4” galanga root, cut into thick slices
4 stalks lemongrass, cut finely
2 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size
1 can coconut milk
juice of 2-3 limes (adjust to taste)
2-4 tbsp fish sauce (adjust to taste)
1-2 red chillies (dried or fresh)
about 1 tbsp of palm sugar or brown sugar (adjust to taste)
250g cremini, shiitake and/or oyster mushrooms
3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1. In a soup pot, bring stock to a boil with lime leaves, galanga, and lemongrass. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes to let flavours infuse.

2. Add chicken, cook for another 5-8 minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk. Add lime juice, fish sauce, chillies, and sugar. Adjust quantities to get the right balance of sweet, sour, salty, and hot flavours.

4. Add the mushrooms, scallions and tomatoes, and let simmer for five minutes.

5. Remove lime leaves, galanga, lemongrass. Serve with coriander.


  1. Oh I love that soup, so good with the kaffir leaves, coconut and lemongrass!

  2. This must have been incredible. I will have to keep an eye out for some kaffir lime leaves though.

  3. What a lovely recipe
    I adore thay food:)

  4. Lemongrass always makes me feel energized, for some reason. Love Thai food! Lol at the "foods that start with a T" theme!

  5. Hi,

    The soup looks amazing...:)



  6. Those darn Kaffir lime leaves that show up in so many scrumptious recipes are absent in my neck of the woods. That soup just embraces you.



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