Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tom kha gai soup

Tom kha gai soup
I have been trying to recreate this dish from my favorite Thai restaurant for a while now.

While I finally found the kaffir lime leaf and the galangal, I was still missing the thai red curry paste.

So, while this version is close - it still lacks the red color that the thai red curry paste provides.

But, other than that, the flavor was pretty close. 

The key to the recipe seems to be using a reduced and concentrated chicken broth. Many of the recipes call for quite a bit of chicken broth which I think dilutes the delicate flavors of the rest of the soup.

I have been to 7 different stores and I could not find any thai red curry paste. It looks like I will have to start ordering that online along with my favorite - massaman curry paste.

Tom kha gai soup

Serves 2


1 1/2 cans of lite coconut milk

1/2 cup of reduced chicken broth

1" piece of galangal, sliced thin

1 stalk of lemon grass cut into 2" strips and cut lengthways

3 button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup of green cabbage, chopped

3 kaffir lime leaves, torn and left whole

1 tsp of sugar

3 leaves of basil, torn and left whole

3 Thai chilies

1 cup of chicken, sliced thin and cut into 2" pieces

1 1/2 Tbsp of Thai fish sauce

3/4 Tbsp of lime juice

1 Tbsp of chopped cilantro for garnish


Put 1 can of coconut milk in a pan over low heat. Add in the galangal and lemon grass and keep the liquid just under a simmer. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes.

In another pan put 1 cup of chicken broth on medium heat and allow to reduce until you are left with 1/2 a cup.

Let the reduced chicken broth cool. When it is no longer hot, add it into the coconut milk (this seems to reduce the risk of the soup separating).

Then add in the kaffir lime leaf and basil. This is where I added the additional 1/4 to 1/2 can of coconut milk because the soup needed a bit more liquid. Bring the soup up to a slow simmer and add in the chicken. Stir occasionally. The chicken should be cooked through in about 5 - 6 minutes (cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken - just make sure it is cooked through).

Then add in the mushrooms, cabbage, sugar, lime juice and fish sauce.  The flavor balance between the sugar, fish sauce and lime juice is a matter of personal taste. Feel free to adjust the ratio to your liking.

Cook until the mushrooms have softened and the cabbage is wilted but still a bit crisp. Turn off the heat and add in the Thai chilies. Let the soup steep for a few minutes.

Serve as a soup or ladle over jasmine rice and enjoy it as an entree. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.


1 comment:

  1. I love this soup but I have never tried making it at home! Yours looks delicious.