Ingredients

How to make it

  • In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, saute whole chicken breasts over medium heat until nicely browned and just cooked. Remove from pot and set aside.
  • Add a little chicken stock and scrape up the fond in the pot, then add the rest of the stock, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, slice and mince the lower portion of the lemongrass stalk. Retain the upper stalk for the soup pot.
  • Add mushrooms, prepared lemongrass (including upper stalk pieces), kaffir lime leaves & galangal. Boil 5 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to medium. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, and Spiracha. Slice reserved chicken and return to pot with any juices. Stir well. Simmer gently 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to minimum. Add sugar, lime juice and stir.
  • Do a taste test. Look for a balance between spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors. Start with salty, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough (1 Tbsp. at a time). If too sour, add a little more sugar if you need it. If too spicy (hot), add a little more coconut milk. If not spicy enough, add more Spiracha. If not sour enough, or to brighten the flavours the next day, add more lime juice.
  • Ladle soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle a little fresh cilantro, basil, and spring onion over each bowl.
  • **Note: if serving this to guests- especially those not familiar with Thai food, be sure to explain about what to eat and not to eat in the soup. While it is all technically edible, most people don't eat the lime leaves, galangal or lemongrass tops. You could explain that only the broth, chicken, and mushrooms are eaten, or, you could cook the soup with the galangal, leaves & stalks in a cheesecloth bouquet. I also usually leave the lemongrass stalks quite long (3 inches or so) so they don't make their way into the bowls. Otherwise, my husband & I just pick around the rest, and my dear Dad eats the whole shebang. Enjoy!
  • **Another note: no, no, NO you really can't substitute ginger for galangal, or lemon zest for lemongrass, or lime juice/zest for kaffir lime leaves. The flavours are not really all that similar. Believe me, you really can find these ingredients near you, even if you don't live in a large Metropolis or somewhere with a large Asian population. Take a real good look though your ethnic aisle or market, and expect to see some variations is spelling and preparation. Do a google search before you go, and familiarize yourself with what they might look like and brands you might recognize. The lime leaves are often sold frozen or dried- frozen is best as the essential oils containing all that lovely aroma are vastly diminished in the dry variety. Even so, dry is OK, just double the amount and simmer a little longer. Same goes for galangal, I've seen it dried and powdered as well as fresh, and they will do in a pinch. Fish sauce is crazy easy to find, but try to get a brand made in Thailand as japanese & chinese varieties have a different flavour. And before you ask, yes, the fish sauce really should smell that bad- what do you expect, it's fermented fish juice! Beleive me, you won't notice the badness of it, just the goodness, I promise!
  • If you insist on using fresh chilies, use 1 for mild, 2 for medium, and 3 for spicy.

Reviews & Comments 7

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  • fix 4 years ago
    LOVELY! bon chance I have everything i need for a change when i find a recipe i want to make now. therefore lunch tomorrow. Thank you. Previous comments are inspiring

    Fix
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    " It was excellent "
    valliaz ate it and said...
    I made this soup on New Year's Day, and loved it. I added zucchini, and served it with rice (put a big scoop of rice in the soup bowl and then ladled the soup on top of the rice). Hubby (who's an excellent cook and a bit of a picky eater) pronounced it "delicious" and thinks it's the best thing I've ever made! (Note: I couldn't find an Asian grocery open on NYD which had kaffir lime leaves, so I went without them, but it was terrific anyway.)Thanks for the great recipe Holly!
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  • adriannla 5 years ago
    Tom Ka Gai is my favorite soup -- and my choice for first defense against a cold. At first sign of a cold, scratchy throat; I head to my favorite noodle shop and stuff myself with a BIG bowl of their soup. They dice fresh jalepenos in theirs too, in addition to a chili paste. All that warm soup, all the 'heat' -- it's good medicine. Saved your recipe and will definately give it a try -- thanks!
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  • jimrug1 5 years ago
    Hi Holly, So nice to see you again. I love everything about this recipe. You have explained it perfectly and one can tell you put in a lot of thought and effort to present it so that anyone can make it. I hope you wont get to pi$$ed if I thrown in a couple of chiles.........;-)~~ This is a super recipe... Saving in my permanent file. Thanks for sharing Hope you are having a great holiday season.. Jim
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    " It was excellent "
    juels ate it and said...
    Love Thai food, and this soup sounds like a winner! Very nice combo of ingredients here, thanks for sharing this great recipe!
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    " It was excellent "
    midgelet ate it and said...
    it's one of my favs too!
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  • ttaaccoo 5 years ago
    thank you for all the detail re the ingred. in this yummy sounding soup. I love thai flavors.
    55555 trish
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