Monday, November 4, 2013

Tom Kha Gai ~ Thai Coconut Soup

Last night I hosted our Amazing Race night and was told by one of our racers, Sarah, that "this is the best soup I have ever tasted, and I'm not even exaggerating!". Well, after a long lapse in posts, I thought that a comment like that deserved its own blog post. She also made the pottery in the pictures; doesn't she sound like a lovely friend to have?
This one's for you, Sarah!

Tom Kha Gai

½ Tbsp coconut oil
½ white onion, thinly sliced
1 hot Thai chili pepper (or more, depending on your spice preference), minced

2 cans coconut milk (full fat makes for a richer, creamier soup)
1 cup chicken stock
2 inch piece of galangal or ginger, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, slightly bruised/flattened with a mallet or cleaver and chopped diagonally into 4 pieces

8 kaffir lime leaves
4 Tbsp fish sauce

1 or 2 chicken breasts, very thinly sliced
½ cup fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
juice of ½ a lime (approx. 2 Tbsp)
½ Tbsp coconut sugar or honey
10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup fresh spinach
fresh cilantro, scallions/green onions and 
coconut rice for serving

Melt the coconut oil in a large soup or stock pot. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute then add the chili and stir 1-2 minutes more until fragrant.

Shake the cans of coconut milk before opening to redistribute the separated cream and milk. Pour into the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chicken stock, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir leaves, fish sauce and chicken and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Then add the shrimp, bell pepper, mushrooms, lime juice, coconut sugar, tomatoes and spinach and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender but not mushy and the shrimp is bright pink.

To serve, place a scoop of coconut rice in the bottom of a bowl, spoon soup overtop and garnish with fresh cilantro and scallions.

Serves 4

Buen Provecho!


  1. This was so delicious! The Thais have truly mastered the fine art of combining flavours into subtle heavenliness. So good!