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. 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 it’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. 🙂

  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 🙂

  11. This is one of my husband’s favourite Thai dishes 🙂

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

  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 🙁

    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!!! 🙂

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