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  • Writer's pictureBiagio D

Tom Kha Gai

Updated: May 2, 2020

During the school week, I do not usually have enough time to cook an elaborate meal, so I sometimes stop at the local Thai restaurant to pick something up on the way home. One of my favorite dishes to order is Tom kha gai, or Thai chicken coconut soup. After lots of culinary research, I put together this recipe which is an amalgamation of several I've found across the internet. It is an explosion of flavor in a bowl: sweet, sour, tangy, and salty. You can adjust the heat to match your spice tolerance. Give it a try!

Yield: 4 servings


6 cups chicken broth

1 3 inch piece ginger, sliced

2 stalks fresh lemongrass

10 lime or lemon leaves, sliced

½ teaspoon chili flakes

1 pound chicken, cooked and chopped

1 cup mushrooms (Any variety is fine, but I used enoki.)

2 teaspoons sugar (white or palm)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup scallions, chopped

chili oil

handful of cilantro, chopped


1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer on medium heat.

2. Trim off the bottom of the lemongrass. Pound the stalks with the back of the knife to release the flavor and slice into thin pieces.

3. Add the lemongrass, ginger, sliced lime or lemon leaves, and chili flakes to the broth. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Cut the mushrooms and cube chicken meat.

5. Strain broth of aromatic ingredients. (Optional, but I did it.)

6. Add mushrooms, chicken, sugar, and 1 ½ tablespoons of fish sauce to the broth. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

7. Add in coconut milk and a tablespoon of scallions and chopped cilantro.

8. Add fresh lime juice and once it comes back to temperature, taste and adjust for seasoning.

9. Add a dash of chili oil before serving.

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