Tom Kha Gai ต้มข่าไก่ ( Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

Tom kha gai (ต้มข่าไก่), namely Thai coconut chicken soup, is one of the most famous and popular Thai dishes. It is a flavorful, yet refreshing soup based dish consisting of some typical Thai ingredients such as coconut milk, galangal and lemongrass.

It can be challenging for people living outside of Thailand to find certain ingredients, so I found some replacements for my Tom kha gai recipe. Nevertheless, my version of Thai coconut chicken is still tasty and comforting. I am sure you won’t regret making it!

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 3 cups water/unsalted broth + pure coconut milk
  • 1-1.5 stalks lemon grass
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 200 g chicken
  • 1 tsb each cooking wine, cornstarch
  • 100 g mushrooms
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2-3 tsb fish sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsb sugar
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • chili oil, basil/cilantro to garnish


  1. I used light coconut milk, ratio of coconut milk and water is 1:1, if you are using regular coconut milk, increase proportion of water/broth.
  2. Omit galangal if you can’t find any. Kaffir lime leaves can be replaced by lime zest.


  1. Slice the onion. Press the lemongrass stalk with your knife to better release the aroma, cut off the stems, slice diagonally..
  2. Place coconut milk, water/broth, sliced lemongrass, onion in a saucepan, cook over medium-high.
  3. Slice chicken (I used skinless chicken thigh) into medium sized chunks, combine and mix with cooking wine and cornstarch. Add chicken to the saucepan just before the soup starts to boil, switch to medium-low heat, keep stirring gently in the same direction.
  4. Cook for 5-7 min, add mushrooms (I used cremini and oyster mushrooms).
  5. Cook for another 5-7 min, the chicken should be fully cooked. Add lime zest, sugar. Add fish sauce in several additions, taste the soup as you add fish sauce to make sure the soup won’t be too salty.
  6. Continue cooking for couple min, remove saucepan from heat, squeeze in lime juice (there might be a bitter taste if it’s added too early).

Garnish the dish with basil leaves or cilantro, lime wedges, chili oil. Doesn’t it look exactly like those ones sold in Thai restaurants? BTW, the dish goes perfectly with rice.

This Thai coconut chicken soup is full of aroma released from lemongrass, lime and coconut milk. It’s filling, healthy and perfect for every season.

Guarantee my version of tom kha gai tastes no less delicious than the ones found in Thai restaurants! You have to try!

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