Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup) Recipe -
Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup) Recipe
  • READY IN 35 mins

Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)

Recipe by  

"The quintessential Thai soup."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    35 mins


  1. Cut chicken into thin strips and saute in oil for to 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken turns white.
  2. In a pot, bring coconut milk and water to a boil. Reduce heat. Add ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne powder and turmeric. Simmer until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with scallions and fresh cilantro and serve steaming hot.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Sep 15, 2007

**FIRST OFF** This is a MOCK version of true Tom Ka Gai soup. However...the taste is very close to the real deal WITHOUT needing "hard to find" ingredients. We loved the ease of the recipe. TALK ABOUT A QUICKIE. My changes: NIX the turmeric - it made the soup sooo bright yellow! I almost doubled the lime juice. I put in the required amount and then floated a few thick lime slices on top while it simmered. I removed those before serving it. I probably doubled the Cilantro. I put some in while it simmered, and put more in just before serving. Instead of water I used low sodium/low fat chicken broth to round out the flavor. I added just enough Splenda Sweetner to “sweeten it up” just a little . I’ve had this soup served both ways ( slightly sweet, and no sugar at all). We prefer it slightly sweet. "Sweet" just ROCKS the flavor of the lime! I have never found Lemon Grass locally, so I quit worrying about it. The soup was EXCELLENT and almost a DIRECT HIT for what we have eaten in upper end Thai restaurants. Do yourself a favor...and DO NOT SMELL THE FISH SAUCE. It's PUTRID AND DISGUSTING! However...once mixed with the other ingredients something magical happens and it was beyond wonderful when all the flavors commingled! I like to put a small scoop of white rice into a bowl and add the soup over that. Next time I make it I'm going to try using 1/2 lemon juice -1/2 lime juice. Will definitely make this again for company!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 02, 2003

First of all, 'Kah' is galanga in Thai. Traditionally, 'Tom Kah' soup is predominantly flavored with three essential ingredients, namely galanga, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves, in which this recipe lacks. For a vegetarian soup simply substitute chicken with oyster mushroom. Galanga, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves add flavour to the soup and are pretty to look at in the bowl, but they are inedible. I often remove these ingredients by straining, then cook the meat or mushroom in the soup.

Jan 26, 2006

When I made this following the recipe exactly I thought it tasted horrible. Then I added lemongrass and let it infuse with the chicken and left out the tumeric (coconut soup should be white). Finally, I remembered when I took a cooking lesson from a Thai chef, she said to always always add sugar when using fish sauce. I forgot the exact proportion by went by taste (had to add quite a lot). Voila! Now it's perfect.

Mar 01, 2008

This recipe is awesome. To prevent curdling of coconut milk keep soup at a lower temperature. I kept it at 200 degrees. Do not bring it to a boil. Also try to stir continuously. I added thai chili sauce instead of cayenne, canned straw mushrooms, a pinch of sugar, low sodium chicken broth instead of water, 2 tbs of soy sauce with fish sauce, lime slices. I did not mince the ginger I cut it in visible slices so that you could pick them out. I did not use turmeric. It tasted just like the tom ka at my favorite Thai place. With a brand new baby it's hard to go out to eat so I am so glad that I could recreate this soup at home with the help of this recipe!

Jan 10, 2004

We loved this soup! Even my 8 year old asked for seconds. My husband said he thought it was even better than our favorite Thai restaurant. The only changes I made were to use 2T soy sauce instead of 4T fish sauce and chicken stock instead of water. Do yourself a favor and make this soup!!!!!

Dec 28, 2007

I would give this 6 stars if I could. My family LOVES Thai food, and particulartly the coconut chicken soup. Imagine my surprise when I found this extraordinarily simple and quick recipe that is just delicious! My only substitutions were to use low fat coconut milk, to switch the water for chicken broth and I also left out the turmeric. Amazing, fast, and delicious!

Jan 10, 2004

This is fantastic! I added a 3rd can of coconut milk, 1/3 of a can of coconut cream & doubled the chicken. VERY quick & easy. It tastes just like the soup we used to drive an hour to order in our favorite Thai restaurant. Spicy & authentic. For each new guest I've served it to I've had to make a copy of this recipe.This is the best soup in my collection!

Jul 23, 2003

My husband and I really enjoyed this. I substituted chicken stock for the water, and I added fresh sliced mushrooms and sliced strips of red pepper for more interest. Plus I added more chicken than the recipe called for. A very tasty soup (just add more cayenne if you like it hotter) that was fast, easy, and quite similar to the authentic Tom Ka Gai we've eaten many times in Thai restaurants.


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  • Calories
  • 433 kcal
  • 22%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.5 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 38 mg
  • 13%
  • Fat
  • 41.1 g
  • 63%
  • Fiber
  • 1.7 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 14.8 g
  • 30%
  • Sodium
  • 784 mg
  • 31%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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