Tom Kha Gai Soup, or Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup, is a recipe where all of the favorite flavors of Thailand come together.
Fresh ginger (or galangal), lemongrass, chili peppers and lime leaves combined with creamy coconut milk is one delicious bowl of spicy Thai soup.
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Before traveling to Thailand, I only had eyes for Tom Yum Soup. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it! The creamy broth of Tom Kha Soup, however, has won me over and pulled ahead as a new favorite Thai Soup.
The good news is that despite the complexity of flavors in Tom Kha, its actually quite easy to make.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
The recipe calls for fresh Kaffir lime leaves. They are pretty easy to find in Thailand but not so much in other areas. You can substitute lime zest. Start with the zest of 1/2 lime and adjust the flavor to your liking.
You can also purchase dehydrated Kaffir lime leaves, which are handy to have around if you cook a lot of Asian dishes.
Lemongrass is another Asian ingredient that can be tricky to find. Many grocery stores now carry freshly ground lemongrass in the refridgerator section.
Dried versions or lemongrass pastes are also available. Use per package directions.
If neither are available, lemon zest and cilantro can be used. Start with the zest of 1/2 lime and a few sprigs of chopped cilantro (already included in this recipe) and adjust the flavor to your liking.
Each fresh ingredient will vary in the intensity of it’s flavor, so it’s best to start with a little and add more as needed.
Here are some additional Asian inspired recipes that you might enjoy!
- 2 Chicken Breasts Cut into 1" (2.4 cm) cubes
- 3 Cups (473 ml) Coconut Milk
- 3 Cups (473 ml) Chicken Broth
- 12 Thin Slices (3 inches or 7.6 cm) Galangal (or Fresh Ginger)
- 3 Stalks Lemongrass cut into 2" (5 cm) sections, bruised
- 8 Straw or Button Mushrooms - quartered
- 6 Kaffir Lime Leaves (stem removed)
- 3 Green Onion Diced
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
- Juice 1 Lime
- 2 Shallots, diced
- 3 Bird's Eye Chilies or 1 Serrano Pepper (diced)
- 12 Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 - 5 Sprigs Cilantro, diced
- Add coconut milk and water to a pan or wok over medium heat.
- Once the liquid begins to boil, add the chicken, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, chilies, shallot and mushrooms.
- Stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked through (about 8 minutes).
- Add the fish sauce, lime juice and tomato. Allow the soup to simmer for another 3 minutes.
- (optional) Lemongrass stalks can be discarded prior to serving
- Add the cilantro and serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories 317Total Fat 21gCholesterol 36mgSodium 525mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 5.1gSugar 10gProtein 18g