Tom Kha Gai Soup is a rich, creamy, spicy and sour, with flavors that will take you to Thailand! This Thai Coconut soup tastes amazing. A super easy chicken soup recipe that's ready to eat in 30 minutes.
What is Tom Kha Gai?
Tom Kha Gai is one of the more famous soups of Thailand. It's known as Thai Coconut Chicken Soup or Tom Kha Soup. It's a delicious spicy and sour chicken soup made with coconut milk as the base. This recipe incorporates classic Thai flavors, such as lemongrass, ginger, garlic, lime, chili, fish sauce and cilantro.
What does Tom Kha Gai mean?
The Thai word Tom refers to the boiling process, as in the soup. Kha means galangal in Thai, which is a rhizome similar to ginger, but it taste more piney and citrusy. Gai means Chicken. All together it translates to Chicken Galangal Soup - but often referred in English as Thai Coconut Soup.
Ingredients in Tom Kha Soup
Thai Herbs and Spices
- Thai Chili Peppers (Birds Eye Chilis)
- Palm Sugar
- can of Straw Mushrooms
- Green Onions
- Lime Juice
- Bean Sprouts
Thai Soup Base
- Coconut Milk
- Chicken Stock
- Fish Sauce
- Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
Rotisserie Chicken Soup Recipe
This Tom Kha Gai Soup is a shortcut dinner recipe. The 'easy' part of this recipe is buying a supermarket rotisserie chicken. It's faster to buy a whole chicken and to shred the meat for this soup. Using store bought chicken saves you time, instead of chopping raw chicken breast and frying it.
Some ethnic recipes use ingredients that we aren't familiar with, or are hard to find. This is an easy dinner recipe, so here are some suggestions for substitutions.
Galangal looks like ginger, but have a piney flavor. You can skip the galangal if you can't find it. It sounds crazy to make a soup without the key ingredient that's in the name of the soup. It's a westernized version that's meant to be made quickly for dinner. Even without using galangal root, this easy dinner recipe has amazing, authentic Thai flavors.
You can find straw mushrooms sold in cans in most supermarkets. Just drain and rinse before adding to the soup. Asian grocers also sell them dried, but you would need to re-hydrate them. Fresh button mushrooms can be substituted instead, and I would add them when frying the Thai herbs and spices.
It can be sometimes hard to find Palm Sugar. Substitute with Brown Sugar, Coconut Sugar or even White Sugar.
How to make Tom Kha Gai Soup
- Fry aromatic herbs and spices for 2 minutes
- Add Coconut Milk, Chicken Stock, Palm Sugar, Straw Mushrooms and Fish Sauce
- Simmer for 10 minutes before adding shredded chicken
- Garnish with Green Onions, Lime Juice/zest, Cilantro and Bean Sprouts
- Use tubes of fresh lemongrass and ginger paste. They last longer in your fridge and are always ready to use.
- Cooking with 2 Thai chilli peppers can be too spicy for some, make sure you carefully de-seed them before adding. If you need a family friendly soup use 1 chilli pepper.
- Substitute Coconut Cream instead of Coconut Milk for a creamier soup base.
- Don't over-boil the coconut milk on high temperature or it can curdle. Gently simmer.
- For a vegan version, substitute with vegetable stock, vegan fish sauce and tofu.
- Add shrimp!
Asian Recipes You'll Love!
- Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
- Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks
- Thai Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Asian Snow Peas with Pinenuts
- Teriyaki Chicken
Easy to make Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Soup) with authentic flavors. Perfect for a busy mid-week dinner. It makes an exciting change from regular soups, travel to Thailand without leaving home. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Herbs and Spices
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons ginger grated
- 3 tablespoons galangal root thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 Thai chili peppers deseeded and chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Tom Kha Soup
- 2 cans coconut milk 14oz/400ml cans
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 can straw mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon grated palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 cups shredded chicken from rotisserie chicken
- 2 green onions
- ¼ cup lime juice
- zest of a lime
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- bean sprouts
- Heat oil in a large stockpot. Sauté lemongrass, ginger, galangal, garlic, chili peppers and turmeric for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the coconut milk, chicken stock, straw mushrooms, palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, add the chicken, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- When serving, mix in green onions, lime juice, lime zest and coriander. Garnish with a handful of bean sprouts.