A trip to Thailand with Tom Kha Kai

Hey everybody! Welcome again to Foodie.  I am sure the prawn pickle recipe turned out great. Today its a soup. Soup or Broth (French) is usually a hot liquid made with stock, meat and vegetables. Soup Traditionally is eaten with Bread, which soaks all the liquid. Tom Kha Kai (chicken galangal soup) soup is from Thai Cuisine made with coconut milk, galangal, kaffir lime leaves/ lemon juice, lemon grass, chicken and fish sauce.

I have been crazy about Thai cuisine ever since I was the Sous Chef for a Dinner Event in my previous college in India. The cuisine I had to work with was Thai. This cuisine is very flavorful and subtle. Not many people know about Thai food. So thai food is not appreciate like other Asian cuisines.

This recipe is a blend of contrasting flavors: salty (fish sauce), tartiness (lemon juice), spicy (galangal and hot chilies) and soft aromatic flavor of the lemon grass and lime leaves with a creamy texture of the coconut milk. So let’s cook some Thai !!


  • 125 g skinless boneless chicken breast
  • 1 lemon grass stick
  • 2.5cm galangal root
  • 2 hot chilies
  • 500ml sweetened coconut milk
  • 250ml water
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 15ml fish sauce
  • Thai basil


Slice chicken breasts into 1/4 inch strips.Smash lemon grass with the flat of the chefs knife once and then cut it into 1 inch pieces, slice the galangal into thin rounds , tear lime leaves into thirds, cut chilies in half. Reserve all four of these mixed together in a bowl.

Chicken strips

Heat coconut milk and water together in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes. Dont let it boil. Reduce heat to medium and add reserved lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves, chilies and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously and not letting it boil.

Coconut milk with Lemon grass, galangal, Chilies

Add chicken strips and cook for 5 minutes, stirring over medium heat until the chicken is cooked.

Add chicken strips

Add lemon juice and lime juice if lime leaves are not available, fish sauce and sugar. Stir and continue cooking for another minute or two.

Fish sauce and lemon juice

Transfer to a soup bowl and serve immediately and garnish with Thai Basil.

Garnish with Thai Basil

Some Tips:

  • Don’t not let the coconut milk boil.
  • Cut the lemon grass, so the flavours will blend in with the coconut milk.
  • Don’t not add salt, Fish sauce is the substitute for salt.
  • You can use shiitake mushrooms if your not allergic.

Today i asked my aunt to taste the soup. She loved it, especially the lemon grass flavor. She liked that it was sweet and spicy at the same time.

Enjoy the Soup!!


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