Recipe: Tom Kha Gai

I’ve been on a Thai kick lately and have been wanting to eat everything Thai. I love the spice, the salt and fishiness of the flavors. I’ve been wanting to make some Tom Kha Gai for a while and finally found some time and gathered the ingredients to make it. Tom Kha Gai is a sweet, salty, tangy and spicy coconut soup with chicken. If that sounds delicious, follow the recipe below an experience it for yourself.


  • Serves about 6


  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper sliced, or a couple Thai chiles
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 lemongrass stalk 
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 large chicken breast or 2 chicken thighs
  • 8 oz white mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Cilantro and lime slices for garnish

Tips and Notes

  • I think the ingredients above has got a good balance of flavors, but you can always adjust the amounts if you want more or less of a specific flavor. Jalapeno/chilis for spice, coconut milk for sweetness, fish sauce for saltiness, and lime juice for sourness/tangyness.

Putting it together


  1. Slice the onion.
  2. Chop up the garlic into chunky pieces.
  3. Slice the jalapenos. Or cut down the middle the length of the thai chilis (just need the seeds exposed).
  4. Peel the skin of the ginger and slice it.
  5. Pound the lemongrass with the side of a knife and cut into 2 inch pieces. Cut each of those pieces into quarter pieces.
  6. Slice all the mushrooms.
  7. Cut the chicken into bite size 1/2 inch pieces.

The soup

  1. In a medium pot, heat up the oil on medium heat. Add in the onions, garlic, jalapeno/chilis, ginger, lemongrass, red curry, and a splash of chicken broth. Stir for a few minutes or until the onion is soft.
  2. Pour in the rest of the chicken stock and simmer for about half an hour.
  3. Use a slotted spoon and strain all the solids out (onion, garlic, etc).
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and mix together.
  5. Turn to medium heat and add the chicken and mushroom. Let it cook for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  6. Add in fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.
  7. Give it one final stir and serve into bowls.
  8. Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges.


I’ve played around with a lot of recipes and I think that this is one the favorite things that I have made. It had so much flavors – spicy from the jalapenos and chilis (yes, I added both to mine), saltiness from the fish sauce, sour and tangy from the lime juice, and sweet from the coconut milk. My mouth is watering from writing this post and I can’t wait to make it again… soon!


This recipe was inspired by Best Ever Tom Kha Gai Soup who has a great blog on some history of this soup. I made some modifications as I couldn’t find some specialized ingredients and wanted my soup a little less coconut-y and more tangy.