Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

The first time I ever cooked Thai anything was for a client that had a special request for a Thai red curry chicken. Ever since I made that dish, I’ve been hooked. Since it was new to me at the time, I did what I always do and did a little research before figuring out how I was going to create the dish. Upon learning that some of the common flavors used in Thai cuisine are some of my favorites (lime, lemongrass, cilantro, coconut, chiles…) I got excited and put together a really nice dish that is now a staple for many of my clients. I was browsing through an international cuisine textbook the other day to get some inspiration for writing a menu for a weekly client when I saw the Tom Kha Gai. It immediately made it onto the menu and ended up coming out great. Check out the recipe and try it for yourself. Remember to always adjust the flavors and consistency to your liking at the end. More acid? Add more lime or lemon. More savory? Add more fish sauce. More broth? Add more chicken stock. You get the idea.

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

Name: Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

# Servings: 5

Prep Time: 20

Cook Time: 75

Photo Link: Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai).jpg

Meal Tags: Dinner

Cuisines: Thai

Meal Categories: Paleo

Meal Allergens: Coconut



2 T Vegetable Oil

1 Red Bell Pepper, medium diced

1 Yellow Onion, medium diced

8 oz. White Mushrooms, quartered

2 T garlic, minced

6 C Chicken Stock

5 Kaffir Lime Leaves

3 Stalks Lemongrass

1 T Ginger, minced

2 T Fish Sauce

2 T Fresh Lemon Juice

1 T Dried Thai Chiles

6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cut into ½” pieces

5 oz. Coconut Cream

½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine

2 T Lime Juice

Salt and Pepper to taste


Cooking Instructions


  1. Sweat the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in the vegetable oil
  2. Peel the outer more wilted layers off of the lemongrass, hit the bottom of the stalks with a mallet or back of a knife to release the oils.
  3. Once the onion is translucent and the liquid from the mushrooms has cooked off, add the stock, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, Thai chiles, and lemon juice.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer stirring occasionally for about 1 hour or until all the flavors from the lime leaves and lemongrass have melded into the soup.
  5. Add the chicken thighs and simmer until meat is cooked thoroughly.
  6. Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves and finish the soup with the coconut cream, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jillian believes her passion for cooking stems from the fact that she was born and raised in Southern California. The best climate conditions for growing the finest produce all year around and the diverse mix of cuisines have always been an inspiration to her. Her love and ability to make people happy by way of delicious food began at an early age and still grows today. She is the proud Chef and Owner of Jillian Fae Chef Services, a personal chef business specializing in private dinner parties, customized menus, and weekly meal preparation.

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