Tom Kha Gai/Thai Chicken soup

It’s been a month since I have posted as we had been to UK for easter holidays and I was so busy checking and preparing the itinerary and doing all the booking. So a lot of time has gotten into that and so I have finally got the courage to post my travels here in the blog. This was possible only by Neethu of outlawnee. She has given me the motivation to do the travel posts and am going to do it soon. So await my travel posts soon. Thankyou all for the continuous support though I haven’t posted recently. Everyday I have visitors to the blog. Glad for that.

Thai Cuisine is another awesome cuisine where they use a lot of flavourful ingredients. Our family can eat Thai food, it is wholesome and is more acceptable for the Indian tastebuds. It can be made spicy or non spicy according to one’s wish. To make an authentic Thai dish you need the right ingredients and no substitutes should be used. Thailand cuisine uses a lot of coconut milk as it is very much available in the country. This soup has coconut milk as the star ingredient. If you like the taste of the coconut milk then you will love this soup.

This soup can be paired with rice or can be just had as a soup. It tastes yummy either way. Let’s get to the meaning of TOM KHA GAI – “TOM” means Boil, “KHA” means Galangal and the “GAI” means Chicken.

For flavouring the soup you need

1) Galangal – this looks like ginger but it’s not ginger. It has a earthy flavour which imparts an aroma in the soup. The galangal pieces are not eaten, it is just discarded while eating or before serving.

2)Kaffir Lime Leaves – These are the leaves of lime tree but not from the Indian lime tree. It is very different fro mthe normal lime tree leaves and it cannot be substituted. It has a zesty flavour and when used in the soup it emits a lot of flavor.

3)Lemon Grass – This is a herb which also has a citrusy lemon flaovur and when added in soups and curries gives a lime flavour. It is liek a grass and its stem releases a lot of flavour when boiled.

4)Coriander Stems – Adding a lot of coriander stem gives a good flavour to the soup.

5)Fish Sauce – It is a sour thin liquid a bit salty and has the flavor of fish. It is important for the right flavor of hte soup. If preparing a vegeterian version just skip this.

Do try and let me know if you liked it.


Cuisine: Thai | Category: Soups | Prep time: 10 to 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Serves: 3 to 4


  • Coconut Milk (Thick) – 2 Cups
  • Coconut Milk (Thin) – 2 Cups
  • Water – 1 Cup
  • Chicken – 500 g breast (cut into chunks)
  • Mushrooms – 8 Nos. (Button Mushrooms)
  • Thai Bird’s Eye Red Chili – 3 Nos. (Increase or Decrease accordingly)
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – 5 Nos. (Remove the mid stem of the leaf and chop roughly or tear by hand)
  • Galangal – 2″ piece (Sliced)
  • Lemon Grass – 5 to 8 Stocks (Slice diagonally)
  • Coriander Stem – 15 to 20 (Cut into 1″ pieces)
  • Corriander Leaves – 1 tbsp. (Chopped)
  • Fish Sauce – 3 tbsp (Increase or Decrease accordingly)
  • Chicken/Vegetable Bullion – 1 Cube(Can use 1 Cup Chicken or Vegetable stock instead)
  • Palm Sugar – 1 tsp.(Optional)


Get all the ingredients ready.
Smash the bouillon and add it to a cup of water.
Then add the galangal.
Next add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Now add the bird eye chili’s and coriander stem.
Allow the water to come to a boil it will help the flavors to get infused.
Now add the thin coconut milk.
After the coconut milk has gently come to a boil add the mushrooms and stir to one side. This helps the coconut milk from curdling.
After sometime add the chopped chicken and allow it to get cooked in low to medium flame.
After the chicken gets cooked add the thick coconut milk and allow it to heat up. Don’t over boil in high flame this will curdle the coconut milk.
Now add the fish sauce and balance the saltiness in the soup.
Add palm sugar for balancing the sweetness. If the coconut milk is sweet enough no need to add this.
Add the chopped coriander leaves.
Next add the lime juice and the sour flavour should be balanced with all other flavours.

Note : Can add Chicken with bones also like the thigh pieces. If using boneless chicken breast don’t cook the chicken for too long. It will make the chicken rubbery.

Can add vegetables if you like.

Can add oyster mushrooms or any other mushroom variety instead of button mushrooms.

No substitute for galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Do not put ginger instead of galangal. It is entirely differnt from ginger. Using the normal lime leaves will make the soup bitter so please get the right ingredients to make this soup at home.

If making a vegeterian version just skip the fish sauce ann add the required amount of salt.

If making a vegeterian version just add a vegeterian bullion or vegetable stock.

Overboiling the coocnut milk will curdle it. So cook the soup in medium flame and keep stirring to one side.

The Tom Kha Gai/Thai Chicken Soup is ready to be served with rice or just like a soup. Try and let me know if you liked it.


21 thoughts on “Tom Kha Gai/Thai Chicken soup

    1. Don’t know when that will show up here. Hehe. Am just taking too long to post. Need to do it faster. Sometimes I get a lot demotivated. That’s when I go hide in a cocoon or go for hibernation. Mmmm finally am out of my cocoon now. 😊😬

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow M…Looks yum…😋You explained the meanings and the ingredients soo well..As usual awesome presentation n photography..I know it takes a lot of work to do all that..Wonderful… looking forward to your travel posts..😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of my husband’s favorite soups, but we have never made it at home. I think we need to try your recipe so we can check this one off the to-make list!

    Liked by 1 person

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