Chicken and coconut soup

A very popular Thai soup (Tom Kaa), based on coconut milk and aromatic vegetables. If you can’t get fresh galangal, you might have no choice but to use dried galangal or substitute it with fresh ginger.


  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 4-5 shallots
  • 2-3 lemon grass stalks (white part only)
  • 3-4 spoons sliced galangal
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms (oyster, straw and others will do)
  • 4-5 drops kaffir lime oil 5%
  • 2-6 fresh small chilies
  • 200 gr chicken (any part will do)
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ cup (or more) lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar (palm sugar preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons coriander leaves
Tom kaa gai
Tom kaa gai


Half the tomatoes.

Bruise the shallots, lemon grass stalks and chilies slightly.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.

Boil the coconut milk, then add the chicken and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the stock and water and bring to a boil.

Add the galangal, lemon grass and chilies, the salt, the fish sauce and the sugar.

Add the mushrooms, shallots and tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Taste and adjust to a savory-sour soup, with just a bit of sweetness to soften the hot taste.

Add the kaffir lime oil and mix. Taste and add more if needed.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with white rice.

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