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Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)


Tom Kha Gai
   (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)
*******

This is the creamy popular soup from Thailand.  I love to shop for ingredients to make this soup.
Galangal, which looks similar to ginger, and the kaffir leaves, are in the refrigerated section of Asian markets. Lemongrass stalks and Beech mushrooms are in the produce isle. This recipe is adapted from my old tiny cookbook, Thai Cooking Made Easy, by Sukhum Kittivech. It wasn't flavorful enough for me, so in this recipe I add a lot more fish sauce, lime juice, fresh mushrooms, coconut cream, and tomatoes.

1½ C canned coconut milk Thai Kitchen brand (or 3/4 C coconut milk & 3/4 C coconut cream)
½ C water
1-quart chicken stock, homemade
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, cracked open w/ flat side of knife, 1-inch pieces
4 Kaffir lime leaves, hand torn
4 slices galangal
2-6 Thai chilies, small, halved lengthwise
½ lb boneless chicken, cut in strips
1 3.5 ounce bunch of Beech Mushoooms (Bunashimeji) or 20 canned straw mushrooms
1 tomato cut into wedges and halved again (optional)
1/4 C fish sauce (Tiparos brand is gluten free, Three Crabs brand is NOT)
1/4 C lime juice
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL chopped green onion
¼ C chopped cilantro
Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste


  1. Bring coconut milk, water, stock (if using—it’s optional), lemon grass (peel layers apart before adding), kaffir leaves, galangal and chilies to a boil.
  2. Add chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
  3. Cook until meat changes color.  Sprinkle with green onion and cilantro.  Serve.

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