Friday, December 2, 2011

Thai Coconut Lemongrass Soup- Tom Kha Gai

This soup is made with nice size pieces of tender chicken, creamy coconut milk and broth. I have included the authentic ingredients as well as a the cheat version when your pantry is missing some of those ingredients.  This can be made any time of the year with a leftover chicken breast, turkey or by easily preparing some chicken and cutting or shredding.

This is my FAVORITE soup to kick a cold, especially the kind where nothing tastes good and you can't breathe. Lemongrass, chicken broth, the bit of zing to unplug your nose from the red pepper flakes! Yup! It's the one! I'm even known, if its a real whopper, to add a dash of chili oil.

Under 30 minutes

Thai Coconut Lemongrass Soup

1 quart chicken broth
1 1/2 C. coconut milk
1 cup sliced mushrooms (see authentic ingredient below)
1/4 tsp dried chile flakes, or to taste (see authentic ingredient below)
1 Stalk Lemongrass, cut into inch strips and lightly pounded
1 tsp freshly grated Ginger, OR 2 inches fresh ginger sliced into disk shaped slices (see authentic ingredient below)
2 1/2 tbs Lime juice
1/4 tsp Salt, or to taste
1-2 tbs brown sugar (optional)
1-2 cup pulled or cubed cooked Chicken (or white meat turkey)
1 Green Onion, chopped
Chopped Cilantro. Loosely chopped

Other Delicious Authentic Ingredients:
Straw Mushrooms (Found in a can usually) 
6 kaffir lime leaves (lightly bruised to release the flavor)
6 slices galangal, instead of ginger. A similar root, but not the same taste
8 bird’s eye chilies (lightly pounded), instead of dried red pepper flakes
3 tablespoon fish sauce(SUGGESTED)

Bring the stock to a boil, skim any foam that rises to the top and add coconut milk, lemongrass, lime juice, chile flakes, ginger, and chicken Simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Ladle into soup bowls or mugs and garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Serve in a bowl with a side of steamed rice. (Traditionally this soup is served with the slices of galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves. I know many people who love to chew or enjoy them in the bowl. However if you do not like that or have a family member who doesn't you can strain or remove before adding chicken right at the end.)


  1. I love this stuff. Makes me smile on a crappy day!!

  2. You were my inspiration, so this recipe is for your smile!

  3. You were my inspiration, so this recipe is for your smile!