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Thai Comfort - The Best Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)

Updated: Apr 2

I’ve made Tom Kha Gai before and published it here. But I like this recipe even better than the one I did years ago and wanted to share.

It’s warming and satisfying, and you can control the heat level easily with the amount of peppers you use.

If you’re not a fan of coconut (I am), this isn’t too overpowering with that flavor. But you can always add a little chicken bouillon to mask it a little. Just watch your salt content if you do.


INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon coconut oil

One onion thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic minced

Half of one red serrano pepper sliced; or 1-3 Thai chiles, halved

3 ¼-inch slices ginger

1 lemongrass stalk pounded with the side of a knife and cut into 2-inch long pieces

2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups canned full-fat coconut cream unsweetened, or full-fat unsweetened coconut milk*

1 whole chicken (I used two  but they were tiny)**

8 ounces white mushroom caps sliced

1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar or regular sugar

1 ½ - 2 tablespoons fish sauce plus more to taste

2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2-3 green onions sliced thin

Scallions or sliced serranos for garnish (depending on how hot you like it)

Chicken bouillon (optional)


METHOD

* Make sure you have full fat coconut milk. Using coconut cream or Coco Lopez won’t give you the same result.

**I roasted two little chickens, waited for them to cool and removed the meat to use for this. It adds another layer of flavor to the chicken. If you don’t feel like going to that much trouble, buy 2-3 pounds of boneless, skinless thighs, cut in cubes.

In a medium pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno or chile, ginger, lemongrass, and red curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until onions are softened.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Strain out the ginger and lemongrass, and discard.

Add in coconut milk, chicken and mushrooms. Simmer until chicken pieces are just cooked through (if you didn’t roast it first), then add fish sauce, sugar and lime juice, plus more of each to taste.

Taste and add bouillon if you’re going to. Add salt if needed.

Cook 2 minutes, then ladle into serving bowls and top with sliced green onions and sliced peppers if you wish.



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