Tom Kha Gai or Tom Kha Kai

8:31 AM MC 0 Comments

Tom Kha Gai or Tom Kha Kai (literally, chicken galangal soup) is hot, spicy and sour soup. It is one of the most well known and popular soups beside Tom Yum. We can say that Tom Kha Soup and Tom Yum Soup are twins which are hot, spicy and sour. Tom Yum Soup dish itself also has two different versions – one is just a clear soup and the other one is with evaporated milk. The looks of Tom Yum which with evaporated milk is pretty close to Tom Kha which is with coconut milk, they both are creamy-white colour soup but they are not as thick as western style creamy soup.

Even it is only one ingredient different between these two kinds of soup but each one has its own character.  The coconut milk in Tom Kha soup brings the tastes of hot, spicy and sour to a smooth and gentle flavour, because coconut milk has sweetness as its fruit and is creamy from its oil. We don’t add any extra oil or butter into the soup. This soup is really a real tropical flavour food as you can sense the sweetness of coconut milk and the scent of Thai herbs.

*** Medium hot
For 4 – 5 servings


2                  Medium to large size of skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch thick and 1½ inches long
10 – 12         Mushrooms, cut into half or quarters (depending on the sizes of mushrooms)
60-80g          Galangal, slice into ¼ inch slices
3                   Lemongrass, tear off 1-2 outer sheaths cut on an angle into ½ inch slices
15                 Kaffir Lime leaves
10                 Grape Tomatoes (optional)
2                   Plants of Coriander with roots, cut the roots off the stems – leave 2 inches long stems to the roots and chopped the leaves for garnishing.
3                   Thai fresh chilli peppers, chopped very fine
2                   Shallots, slices
 1 clove          Garlic, mince
1-2 tsp           Nam Prink Pao or chilli paste with soya bean oil (optional)
? tsp              Chicken flavoured broth mix (you can adjust this ingredient, you may start with ¼ - ½ tsp)
¼ tsp             Salt
3½ - 4 cups    Water
1½ cups or 375 ml. Coconut Milk
4 – 5 tbsps     Lime juice
½ tbsp           Fish sauce
1 tsp              Soy sauce


Cut chicken on angle
  1. Marinate chicken with garlic mince, salt and soy sauce. Leave aside.
  2. Boil water in a pot on medium high heat until bubbling. Add galangal slices, lemongrass slices, kaffir lime leaves and coriander roots; boil until you can smell the scent of the herbs.
  3. And chicken and chicken broth mix, and boil until bubbling then add fish sauce, coconut milk until reach to the bubbling point then add mushroom, chilli pepper, grape tomatoes and shallot slice and boil another minute.
  4. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Discard galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leave and coriander roots and garnish coriander leaves before serve.