Tom Kha Gai is a flavorful modern Thai soup with coconut milk, chicken and galangal (Thai ginger). The soup is freshly made from scratch and is a quick and easy soup to prepare. Your tom kha gai will be ready in less then 20 minutes!
Learn how to make Tom Kha Gai soup further below.
It happened in a Thai take away, I fell in love with the aroma of flavors intermingling with each other in a white broth. It was love at first sight!
Tom Kha Gai is a popular soup in Europe (and I think in America too), however it’s unknown in India. Although, India has the potential of enjoying this soup.
Coconut milk, Chicken, Thai Ginger (Galangal), Lemongrass, lime leaves and Fish sauce make this dish so crazy addictive! You will have a spoonful and you will understand what I mean.
The cool part is that it will take you only 20 minutes max. to prepare and cook the soup and you can already enjoy it with all the comforting flavors after a long day.
That’s why the Tom Kha Gai thai coconut soup has become my go to dinner dish. It’s versatile, you can prepare it and freeze the rest because the Thai coconut soup tastes even more intense after heating it again.
Also, tom kha gai soup is great in winter and in summer. In winter it lightens up your day and in the summer, when it is hot, it help you to eat healthy and keeps you on track with fresh food ingredients, which are stuffed with important nutrients.
Coconut milk is a common ingredient all over the world. You can make your own delicious creamy coconut milk from scratch too with ripe coconuts (and learn here about soft and hard coconut flesh). Fresh coconut milk will always taste better, however packed or canned coconut milk will do the trick too after a long and draining work day.
Thai Ginger, also known as Galangal, is the tricky ingredient to get for this soup. Some Asian stores might sell it abroad, especially in the cities, this shouldn’t be a problem. In Europe I couldn’t get it in the store but my thai take away would have some for me. In Goa you get it sometimes in the city markets such as Mapusa market or at times too along the coastline in bigger vegetable stores such as in Vagator or Chapora. In case ask your thai restaurant in your corner of the world, they are sometimes helpful and share some of their goodies.
Lemongrass can be commonly found in many places all over the world but most of the time it’s dry. Ask for fresh lemongrass in your local Asian store or market. Or you can keep a lemongrass plant too. I always found my plant super handy and used it to make tea too. Otherwise once you get around a bunch of fresh lemongrass, you can just freeze the lemongrass for later use.
Organic Lime leaves, preferably Kaffir lime leaves, are important to make this soup too. If you can’t get kaffir lime, just use regular lime leaves. Those can be bought in store in most Asian stores. I use lime leaves from my lime tree in my garden in Goa. Be aware that in India, Kaffir lime is rather rare and that the so called Indian lemon is often-while a lime (the name was confused). If you can’t get lime leaves, substitute with organic grated lime peel, the soup will still turn out awesome. Why organic? Because of the pesticides on the leaves/lime.
Other important ingredients include mushroom, bird eye chili or regular red chili, fish sauce. coriander (cilantro) and tomato.
Learn how to make Tom Kha Gai Soup Recipe below:
- 400 milliliter Coconut milk
- 250 milliliter Water
- 1 stalk Lemongrass
- 3 Lime leaves (or substitute with grated organic lime skin)
- 1½ inch Galangal (Thai Ginger)
- 200 grams boneless Chicken cut into stripes
- dozen regular button mushrooms sliced
- 1-5 Chili cut into smaller pieces (I used regular Indian Chili so 2 are usually enough)
- 2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 3 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tomato cut into dices
- roughly chopped coriander
- First we infuse the coconut milk by placing the milk into a pot with the water. Simmer on low heat until warm. In the meanwhile prepare your cleaned lemongrass by removing the outer stalk layer and cutting the lemon grass into thicker pieces. Lightly crush the lime leaves and peel and cut the thai ginger in smaller stripes. Place the lemongrass, lime and thai ginger pieces into the simmering coconut milk. Let it simmer on low heat for 5 minutes approximately so that the milk takes up the aroma.
- Then add the cut chicken with sliced mushroom pieces to the simmering coconut milk. Let it cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. When stirring occasionally the milk, make sure to slowly stir it, because coconut milk is a bit sensible. Never bring the soup to a rolling boil, the coconut milk won't like it. Once the chicken and mushrooms are cooked add the chili pieces, fish sauce and lime and cook for another minute or two on low heat. Taste with salt and take from the heat.
- Just before serving, take out the lemongrass pieces and lime leaves and add the tomato pieces and chopped coriander.
- Serve hot!
~ Do you like Thai food? ~
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