Tom Ka Gai – Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk

Authentic Tom Kha Gai – a simple delicious recipe for one of Thailand’s most popular soups! Full of fragrant Thai ingredients like lemongrass, kefir lime, ginger and galanga root, this Thai Coconut Chicken Soup can be made on the stove top on in an Instant Pot. Paleo, Gluten-free and Vegan-adaptable!

Tom Ka Gai – Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk

This tom kha soup recipe (or Thai coconut chicken soup) is absolutely perfect. Rich and creamy yet tangy and salty, this Thai coconut chicken soup recipe is filling but light and positively bursting with flavor. The very best tom kha gai recipe I’ve ever made or tried. With Whole30, paleo, and vegan options, too. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thailand
Calories 965 kcal


  • 1 stalk lemongrass or 3 tablespoons frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 chicken breasts sliced, or 1 to 2 cups roasted chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 4 makrut lime leaves fresh or frozen
  • 1 to 3 red chilies fresh and minced to taste, or 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed chili peppers
  • 1- piece galangal or ginger, thumb-sized and grated
  • 1/2 to 1 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk (good-quality)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or more to taste
  • Optional: sliced bell pepper or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon brown sugar to taste
  • Handful coriander leaves fresh
  • Handful basil leaves fresh
  • 3 spring onions sliced
  • Optional: wheat noodles or rice noodles, if serving as the main course


  • Slice and mince the lower portion of the lemongrass stalk. Retain the upper stalk for the soup pot.
  • Place chicken broth in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. If you have leftover chicken or turkey bones, add those too. Bring to a boil.
  • Add fresh chicken, leftover chicken, or turkey, and mushrooms.
  • Then add the prepared lemongrass–including the upper stalk pieces–the makrut lime leaves, and fresh chilies.
  • Boil 5 to 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  • Turn the heat down to medium.
  • Add the galangal or ginger, 1/2 can of the coconut milk, the fish sauce, and extra vegetables (if using). Stir well and simmer gently for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to low.
  • Add the lime juice and stir.
  • Do a taste test. Look for a balance between spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors. Start with saltiness, adding more fish sauce if the soup is not salty or flavorful enough, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it’s too sour, add the brown sugar. If the soup is too spicy or if you’d like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If it’s not spicy enough, add more chilies.
  • Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle a little fresh coriander, basil, and spring onions over each bowl. For an extra kick of flavor, add a dollop of either store-bought or homemade Nam Prik Pao chili sauce.
Keyword chicken, coconut, soup

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