Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

by May 10, 2014

thaisoupThis Thai-inspired soup can be yours in less that 30 minutes!  Seek out Chaokoh coconut milk and you will be most happy.  Inspired by Thai it Up Chicken Soup by Rebecca Katz, Cancer Fighting Kitchen, and Bill McCarthy’s Tom Yom Gai and Tom Kha Gai.


Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 32 oz. box organic chicken stock (I like Imagine brand)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 3 inches ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, use tender inner layers; bruise with mallet or side of knife
  • 4 cilantro stems
  • zest from one lime (or 4 kaffir lime leaves, if you can find them!)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • Add-in ingredients:
  • 4 oz. rice noodles, broken into 3 inch pieces, soaked in hot water
  • 13 - 15 oz. can coconut milk (Chaokoh brand is the best)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tsp. peeled, grated ginger
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 chicken breast halves, cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • Garnish:
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal


  1. Bring broth ingredients to boil and then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Scoop out all solids and discard.
  2. Soak rice noodles in very hot water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard soaking water.
  3. Add coconut milk, diced carrot, grated ginger, and pinch of cayenne pepper to broth and simmer 3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken slices and continue to simmer until cooked through, about 5 - 7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the rice noodles, 1/4 teaspoon salt and simmer to heat the noodles. Remove from heat and add the lime juice and fish sauce. Serve with sliced scallion and cilantro leaves.


Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
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  • For easy chicken prep, pop the breasts in the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – if you ever see them at your market, buy them!  Keep them in your freezer and you’ll have them when you need them.  Can’t find them?  Don’t worry about it, buy a lime, that’ll work ok.
  • Mushrooms are wonderful in this soup.  Toss in some fresh or a drained can of straw mushrooms.
  • Add an extra can of coconut milk for a richer, creamier soup.  (Don’t feel too guilty, traditional Tom Kha Gai uses 4 cups of coconut milk and no broth.)
  • Like hot and spicy?  Add a thai chile pepper, seeded and sliced thinly with the carrot and ginger in step 3.

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