Spicy chicken, coconut and galangal soup, or Tom Kah Kai


This soup from the Central Plain is one of the best-known and most appreciated Thai dishes. It requires only 20 minutes to prepare and cook it. 

Serves 2


250 ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves, crumpled

3 slices galangal

1 coriander root

1 lemongrass stalk

1 sliced fresh chili

4 shallots, cut in half
2 tablespoons tamarind juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

100 g chicken thigh or breast, sliced
100 g mushrooms such as oyster mushrooms (cut in half), king oyster (sliced), shimeji

250 g coconut cream

Chopped coriander and spring onions


Flatten galangal, coriander root and lemongrass stalks with a pestle, without breaking the ingredients. These ingredients are not meant to be eaten, there are here to add flavors into the soup. So you want to be able to remove them easily when the soup is cooked.

In a saucepan, bring vegetable or chicken stock to a boil. Add lime leaves, galangal, coriander root, lemongrass stalk, fresh chili, shallots. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add chicken, mushrooms and seasoning (tamarind juice, fish sauce, sugar). Simmer for another 5 minutes. Lower the heat then add coconut cream. Mix well and taste to adjust the seasoning. Remove kaffir lime leaves, coriander root and lemongrass stalk.

Pour into serving bowls. Garnish with coriander and spring onions.


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