Tom Kha Gai – Thai Coconut Galangal Chicken Soup


It is the wet season here in Saigon but the city is surprisingly brimming with more energy than ever. With this kinda mood the city is experiencing right now, I wouldn’t think twice to cook Tom Kha Gai/Thai Coconut Galangal Chicken soup to kick start the rainy season here!

Perfect soup to ease a hangover.

A lot of times, I shudder when people tend to label this as white Tom Yum. Let me straighten this out to you folks, it is not white Tom Yum. Not even.

Tom Kha Gai is a coconuty silky smooth, tangy, sweet, salty and sour – a milder Thai-spiced soup in comparison to Tom Yum to give you the idea. The less flamboyant cousin of slurplicious Tom Yum if you must relate this to the another familiar thai dish.

A little taste of home – humble and delicious Thai soup, it is difficult not to like this Tom Kha Gai!


Level: Easy

2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces and smash

3 cups of chicken stock / 3 cups of water with 2 chicken stock cubes

3 cups of coconut milk

3-inch piece of galangal, thinly sliced

2 chicken breasts, diced

5 chilies, smashed

5 kaffir leaves, veins removed and silvered

3 tablespoons of fish sauce

4 – 5 limes

A bunch of cilantro leaves

Concentrate the chicken stock. Add lemongrass, kaffir leaves, galangal and coconut milk. On a medium heat, stir in the chicken. Add water or stock if needed. After chicken is cooked, throw in the chilies. Cook for another 3 minutes then turn off the heat. Add lime juice and fish sauce to the soup. Sprinkled cilantro leaves and kaffir leaves before serving with rice.

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