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Authentic Thai coconut soup with chicken “Tom Kha Gai”

authentic Thai coconut soup

This post is long overdue. I made this dish during the Thai cooking class I took in Koh Samui early last year. And after I decided to start posting on my blog again, I planned on sharing the recipe I got from my cooking instructor Jul…which I soon realized that had gone missing! I misplace a lot of things, but recipe isn’t one them. Long story short, it had been a frustrating couple of months but as you can see now, I found it in the end 😊.

Thai coconut chicken soup

I absolutely love Thai food. One of top five on the list of my favorite cuisines in the world, and I am one of those people with a gene that makes you feel like tasting soap when eating coriander. A lot of Koreans are like that it seems. Even with the condition I still love Thai food. Thailand is also one of my and my husband’s favorite countries. We love it so much that we even had our wedding in Phuket.

“Tom Kha Gai” is what we served as a first course to our wedding guests. Although my Korean guests might have slightly preferred “Tom Yum Kung” (hot and sour soup), another option we sampled, we thought it would be better to start easy. And I personally thought the soft yellowy beige color of the soup was better fit for the wedding. (Yes, color coordination is very important when planning a wedding). This is one of the milder Thai dishes (for their standard) you can find. Of course you can make it really spicy if you want, but I think this dish is beautiful as it is even without the famous Thai chili kick.

Thai food lime

  • Prep and Cook for 30-40mins
  • Serves 2 as a starter


  • 150g. coconut milk
  • 70g (a little less than 1/3cup). water
  • 30g. chicken tenderloin or breast
  • 1/4 cup. white beech mushroom, halved
  • 1/2 cup. onion and tomato, chopped into a small bite size wedges
  • 2 tbsp. fresh galangal, bottom and stem removed and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp. lemongrass, bottom and outer skin removed and cut into 2.5cm/1inch
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2-4 Thai chilis, or mild chilis, depending on how hot you want
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup. green onion and coriander cut into 2.5cm/1inch,
  • 1 tbsp. Thai seasoning powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. Thai chili paste (optional)

Thai coconut chicken soup

Prepare the vegetables and tomato and set aside.

Tear Kaffir lime leaves into half. Halve the chilis (with a knife ;-)) as well.

Slice chicken into a couple of bite size chunks and set aside.

Place coconut milk and water in a medium sized pot, then add galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chilis. Bring it to a boil.

When it starts boiling, gently add the chicken. Turn the heat down to medium and cook without stirring (coconut milk is quite delicate) until chicken turns opaque.

Add in Thai seasoning, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, mushroom, onion and tomato.

Cook for a few more minutes until chicken is done.

Add in Thai chili paste, (you can skip this part if you want milder soup), coriander and green onion. Turn off the heat immediately.

Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

Thai coconut chicken soup Tom Kha gai

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