Tom Kha Gai

1 minute read

0003_polevka_tom_kha_gai.jpgThis is a mild but spicy chicken soup (it can also be made with shrimp, pork, beef or mushrooms), flavored with the very unique flavor of galangal (“kha” in Thai) which creates a heavenly taste when combined with hot chile peppers, coconut milk, lime leaves and lemongrass.


  • 16 fluid ounces soup broth (chicken stock)
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • 4 or 5 2 inch pieces fresh lemongrass, bruised to release flavor
  • 1 inch cube (or a bit more) galangal sliced thinly.
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 oz chicken breast cut into smallish bite sized pieces
  • 5 fluid ounces coconut milk
  • small red Thai chile peppers, slightly crushed (to taste)
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish.

Note the number of red peppers is a personal choice. It can be as few as half a chilli per diner, to as many as 8-10 per diner, but the dish should retain a balance of flavors and not be overwhelmend by the chili peppers. We suggest about 8-12 chili peppers for this recipe.


Heat the stock, add the lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir thoroughly, bring to a boil, and add the chicken and coconut milk, then the chile peppers. Bring back to the boil, lower the heat to keep it simmering and cook for about 2 minutes (until the chicken is cooked through). Enjoy!

Not really intended to be eaten as a separate course, we like it served ladled over a bowl of steamed Thai jasmine rice. This quantity serves 4 with other food, but is probably only enough for two if eaten separately.

If you would like to have a decent-tasting tom kha without spending the time to prepare above, we also suggest you try our convenient Tom Ka Paste (click to see description).



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