Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk, 'Tom Kha Gai'
Buy ingredients for this recipe!
This is a mild but spicy chicken soup (it can also be made with shrimp, pork, beef or mushrooms), flavored with the unique flavor of galangal ("kha" in Thai) which creates a heavenly taste when combined with hot chile peppers, coconut milk, lime leaves and lemongrass.
The recipe below is a common, basic method using a prepackaged soup broth or bullion cube. To make things more tasty, try preparing your own broth from scratch. To make a simple broth for Tom Kha, put a carrot, half stalk celery, one medium chopped onion, perhaps a half cup of chopped daikon, and a few cloves of fresh garlic, into a pot of water. Simmer for an hour or so and you have a good broth, to be used in place of the 16 oz broth mentioned in recipe below. We also prefer increasing the amount of coconut milk to broth, to a 1:1 ratio.
You might also be interested in our excellent quality ready-made Tom Kha Soup in Pouches.
A nice variant to recipe below is our Tom Kha Salmon recipe made by the Prime Minister of Thailand.
16 fluid ounces soup broth (chicken stock)
Note the number of red peppers is a personal choice. It can be as few as half a chilli per diner, to as many as 8-10 per diner, but the dish should retain a balance of flavors and not be overwhelmend by the chili peppers. We suggest about 8-12 chili peppers for this recipe.
Heat the stock, add the lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir thoroughly, bring to a boil, and add the chicken and coconut milk, then the chile peppers. Bring back to the boil, lower the heat to keep it simmering and cook for about 2 minutes (until the chicken is cooked through). Enjoy!
Not really intended to be eaten as a separate course, we like it served ladled over a bowl of steamed Thai jasmine rice. This quantity serves 4 with other food, but is probably only enough for two if eaten
If you would like to have a decent-tasting tom kha without spending the time to prepare above, we also suggest you try our convenient Tom Ka Paste (click to see description).
Here, in the photo to the right, we prepared the tom kha the same as in the above method, but without any soup stock. The liquid is only coconut milk, and a touch of water. We also added, after it was ladled into a small bowl, a half teaspoon of roasted chile in soybean oil (prik pao). This gave it nice color and flavor. Another option: try a touch of Thai chile oil on top instead of the prik pao.
Try our Tom Kha Kit. Extraordinary Value
Here we're offering everything you need to make several large servings of the best fresh home-made authentic Tom Kha. A thoughtful mix of fresh Thai herbs with all ingredients. Expedited to your door via 2 day shipping to ensure fresh delivery (upgraded at no charge). You'll also be able to make other Thai recipes. This is a great value and will have you cooking healthy Tom Kha soup right away. Checkout with regular shipping and we'll upgrade it to expedited 2 day at no extra charge.
NEW: Amazing Elephant Tom Kha Pouch.
NEW: Amazing Elephant brand "Tom Kha" Soup -- It's All In The Pouch. After years of development and investing in America, we are happy to introduce this ready-to-eat, premium quality, authentic and delicious Tom Kha soup made in small batches using the highest quality ingredients. Amazing Elephant brand puts everything in the pouch and cooks it to perfection.
To heat, simply put the pouch in boiling water for 3 minutes then open and serve alone or over rice. You can also microwave it for 90 seconds. It's all inside, so you don't need to add a thing.
This all-natural, gluten-free, preservative-free soup is precooked in a modern BPA-free pouch that's shelf stable for two years but tastes like it was just made fresh in a Thai grandmother's kitchen. Premium ingredients and sophisticated preparation ensure that this rivals anything a Thai restaurant serves.
Thai Street Vendor Video
All of our videos can be found in our Thai Street Vendor Videos section.
Share photos of this recipe from your own kitchen or a restaurant table, and earn rewards!
Details and quick sign up here.
Email This Recipe
Send this recipe to yourself or a friend.
January 15th, 2009
January 22nd, 2009
April 17th, 2009
A J Barkis
August 12th, 2009
September 9th, 2009
October 20th, 2009
November 11th, 2009
April 15th, 2010
Joaephina S, villanueva
August 31st, 2010
October 10th, 2010
January 4th, 2011
May 31st, 2011
Yak Jai Dii
July 23rd, 2011
August 11th, 2011
April 7th, 2012
January 23rd, 2013
Add a Comment
Related RecipesGreen Curry with Fresh Chile, Chicken, Eggplant & Kaffir Lime Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce Lemongrass Chicken, 'Gai Sai Takrai' Thai Ginger Chicken Soup, 'Tom Khing Gai'
Essential Thai Pantry
Find Another Thai RecipeNeed more help? Check out our Thai Recipe Helper
Start typing the name of the recipe you are interested in.