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Soup is my passion. 



A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Chicken Coconut Soup with Lemongrass

Soup for Supper Cook Book

Servings: 5


One of the most requested dishes in Thai restaurants is this soup, called tom kha gai.  It is also easy to prepare at home, however, once you have the right ingredients on hand.  While you may not be able to find kaffir lime leaves or galangal at your market, grated lime zest and fresh ginger work well in their place.  Bottled fish sauce and canned coconut milk are now widely available, so this delicate and fragrant soup can grace your table often.


4 cups chicken stock
4 slices fresh ginger
1 large lemongrass stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces, crushed
grated lime zest
2 cans coconut milk
cup lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon red chile paste
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
pound fresh mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
5 small green chiles, or red, sliced crosswise paper-thin fresh cilantro

Cooking Method

In a large saucepan...

  1. Combine the stock, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, and lime leaves or lime zest.

  2. Place over medium heat and slowly bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.

  3. Reduce the heat to low.

  4. Add the coconut milk, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. 

  5. Add the lime or lemon juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili past; mix well, and simmer for 5 minutes. 

  6. Add the chicken pieces and simmer until tender, 4-5 minutes. 

  7. Add the mushrooms and simmer until tender, about 1 minute longer.

To serve, ladle into warmed bowls.  Float the chili slices and cilantro leaves on top.

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