Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai

Soup week: Day 4. Soup doesn’t have to be hard to prepare. This time we are going to try something from a neighbor country, Thailand.ย They have a lot of great dishes and if it is about soup, they do have a lot to offer like this soup called Tom Kha Gai.

This dish is a Thai hot and sour soup made out of coconut milk, chicken, galangal, lemon grass and mushroom. Literally, Tom Kha Gai means “boiled galangal chicken” when directly translated. I guess it was named perfectly as galangal is the dominant flavour in this dish. Galangal for those who doesn’t have an idea looks like a ginger but reddish brown in colour. It is related to ginger but taste different as it is commonly described as pungent, peppery and floral. Tom Kha Gai has a very unique twist in flavour since itโ€™s partly creamy, spicy, sweet, sour, smoky, hot and savoury, all at once; which would leave your taste buds asking for more! You will never turn out your chicken soup the same twice again!

600g chicken breast, sliced
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
4 pcs long tamarind, wrapped in muslin cloth
3 stalks lemongrass, white part
4 pcs kaffir limes leaves
1 1/2 cup straw mushrooms, cut in half
1 thumb size galangal, cut into 4 pieces
3 pcs dried chili, chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
handful fresh coriander leaves
handful fresh basil leaves
fish sauce or sea salt, according to taste


  1. Pour in chicken stock in a pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling add chicken, galangal, mushrooms, lemon grass, kaffir, chilli and tamarind. Simmer for 8 minutes. Press muslin cloth with tamarind on top of the pot to extract the juices then discard.
  2. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  3. Place in bowls then top with basil and coriander.

15 Responses

  1. crustabakes says:

    oh.. this will definitely go well paired with rice!

  2. I too love simple soups. This looks delicious.

  3. I love how creamy it looks, simple soups are simply satisfying.

  4. ceciliag says:

    I shall print this recipe for John, he Loves Thai soups, and i love it when he makes them.. thank you! c

  5. Joanne says:

    I love all the interesting flavors in here, and I’ve recently discovered how great tamarind is. Another great recipe!

  6. Kristy says:

    This sounds like it would just bring so many different flavors to the mix and how fun is that! It sounds very tempting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Eri says:

    Lovely soup with all this goodness inside!!

  8. This is one of my favorite Thai soup and the The hotter the better. Good job on the photo, Raymund!

  9. Ohhh!!!!
    I love the flavors in that bowl!!!
    I really like the picture!!

  10. Yummy! Totally trying this one ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. This is one of my husband’s favourite Thai dishes ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. i haven’t tried this. whenever i’m in thailand, i only have my eyes on tom yum. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. You have such wonderful, unusual things going on your blog! I need to try this out!

  14. foodjaunts says:

    I love galangal, unfortunately I can only get it powdered or frozen here ๐Ÿ™

    The baby corn in the soup looks especially appetizing

  15. Wagz says:

    Luv this Thai recipe…I was able to cook this from memory…with a few minor adjustments…plus I replaced the chicken meat with cream dory chunks but still used the natural chicken stock…no additional chicken powder or cubes…I think we can also substitute prawns for the chicken! Saraaaaap!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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