Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Tom Kha Gai is a traditional Thai soup that combines the rich flavors of coconut milk, lemongrass, and galangal with tender chicken pieces. This aromatic and slightly spicy soup is both comforting and exotic, making it a favorite among Thai cuisine lovers. It offers a perfect balance of creamy and tangy notes, complemented by the subtle heat from Thai chilies.


  • 1 lb (450g) chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups (1 liter) coconut milk
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken broth
  • 4-5 stalks lemongrass, cut into pieces and bruised
  • 6-7 slices galangal (or ginger, if unavailable)
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 Thai red chilies, sliced (more or less to taste)
  • 3-4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large pot, bring the coconut milk and chicken broth to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Add the lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
  3. Add the chicken slices and cook until they are tender and fully cooked through, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and Thai chilies, and let them simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Season the soup with fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, adjusting the quantities to balance the flavors as desired.
  6. Remove the pot from heat. Discard the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, if desired.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
  8. Serve hot, with or without jasmine rice.

Enjoy this delightful and flavorful Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup as an appetizer or light meal!