Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom kha gai)

By The Thai Experience

Traditionally, this soup is served as tom kha gai - with chicken, but it works equally well with seafood. 

Chicken Coconut Soup (serves 5)


Chicken stock

Coconut milk



Lime juice and fish sauce




Dried shiitake mushroom





7 slices

2 ½ sticks

50ml of each

1 chilli (or more depending on taste)


2 - 3 tablespoons 

1 mushroom per bowl


1. In a pot, place the chicken stock(homemade) with the ginger and lemongrass slightly crushed.

2. Heat up, but don't let boil. Add the coconut cream and put the heat up. Let it simmer for a minute and drop the heat again to minimum. Let it rest for 2 minutes.

3. In another bowl mix the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and add to the coconut/stock soup. Keep the heat low to avoid bitter tastes from the lime.

4. Add the chicken without the skin, put a tight lid and take out the fire. The squid will cook with the residual heat for 40 minutes.

5. Take out the chicken, pat it dry and cut 5mm cubes.

6. Re-hydrate the shiitake by placing them in warm water for 5 minutes
(or until they are tender) and cut them in half.

7. In the serving bowl, place three slices of chicken, three half shiitakes, a thin chili slice cut diagonally and small cilantro leaves.

8. Heat up the soup to a boil and place it immediately to a teapot. On the table, pour the hot soup filling 3/4 of the bowl.

Vegetarian option: Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce and soft tofu in place of the chicken.

The Thai Experience Tom Kha Gai soup before
The Thai Experience Tom Kha Gai after