Total Time
20 Mins
Serves 4

This classic chicken and coconut soup gets its rich and dynamic flavor from quintessential Thai ingredients: coconut milk, lemongrass, fresh ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, chile paste, basil, and cilantro. While warming and thoroughly comforting, this dish comes together incredibly quickly. Of course, it's even better the next day after the flavors have had time to rest and fully meld within the thick and satisfying, savory-sweet broth. Just saying--doubling this recipe to guarantee leftovers wouldn't be a terrible idea. 

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is firm and opaque, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Garnish servings with basil and cilantro.

Step 2

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Ratings & Reviews

May 09, 2016

Sunshine555's Review

March 10, 2012
A tom kha gai soup must have galangal in it. That's what the name is about. Kha in Thai means galangal. This recipe also lack of a very important ingredient - lime leave! For a real taste and flavor, you must make a trip to the Asian shop. Galangal, lemongrass, lime leave and bird eye chili all freeze well. You can store them in the freezer for future use. For better flavor - 2 stick of lemongrass,(use only the white part) cut and CRUSHED. 5 lime leave, torn. 4 tbsp fresh lime juice, 2 bird eye chili, crushed. 3 tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp fish sauce - I think this is better for the two cans of liquid(coconut milk and broth)


May 24, 2015
We tried this. Used powdered ginger, and only had a lemon, but turned out fabulous! Did saute a small amount of onions for extra texture. Put over clear noodles!!!! Us is a bi-weekly dish in our house now.

Easy recipe, very flavorful soup

September 17, 2017
Just tried this recipe.  I added bean sprouts, snow peas and cherry tomatoes. I made my own chicken broth.  Great flavor.....We will make this again.


September 30, 2017
Perfect flavor! Loved it- was great the first time!

It's the Trivecta...

February 18, 2018
 ...of chicken stock, coconut milk and lemon juice that makes this a great classic. Because they all work together, what's added after that can vary quite a lot. For example, I add 1/2 of a thinly sliced hot red chili with the seeds removed, brown sugar instead of white, sesame oil & soy sauce. And I like to let it simmer for hours so the flavours blend very well (it's 8:40 a.m. now in the UK and I have it on the stove for today's main meal at noon). I'll drop in the cubed chicken, mushrooms and baby corn during the last hour so they don't disintegrate but the red & yellow bell peppers, lemon grass, ginger and chili are already in there...dancing together while it simmers. We absolutely love this recipe and will have it on this foggy Sunday with potstickers and Vietnamese summer rolls and spicy peanut sauce. 

selenaweena's Review

May 30, 2014

SkyAnderson's Review

October 07, 2012

Scurrilous's Review

December 11, 2012

goodrel8's Review

November 17, 2013
Excellent version of a classic recipe. I had home made stock, but otherwise made this pretty much as written other than using galangal instead of yellow ginger. I think I probably doubled the fish sauce, now that I think about it. Served with coconut brown basmati rice it made a wonderful, light dinner. I'll definitely make this one again.