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Thai Coconut Chicken Soup – Tom Kha Gai

This Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe was sponsored by Staub. All opinions are my own.
This post may contain affiliate links. 

After all of the holiday rich foods, I’m ready for a change of pace, and this Coconut Curry Chicken Soup is exactly what I need.

Thai Coconut Curry Soup Recipe
This Thai coconut chicken soup, otherwise known as Tom Kha Gai, is a stunning Thai inspired recipe that beautifully layers aromatic flavors for a lovely meal. It’s warming, yet not heavy. The secret is by infusing the lemongrass and ginger into the broth base first, giving it that lift of bright flavor without being overbearing.

Making Tom Kha Gai, a coconut curry chicken soup, is straightforward, and one of those soups that is even better the next day. I like to make enough for dinner, and then I’ll divide what’s left into 2 cup containers to freeze for later. It’s better than take out!

Garlic Lemongrass and ginger being sauteed in a Staub round cocotte
When making soups and stews, gumbos or roasts, my favorite go-to cooking vessel is a round Dutch oven (cocotte) by Staub. It is made of sturdy cast iron which retains and evenly diffuses heat, plus the cast iron makes this Dutch oven induction top compatible. The design and quality of this Dutch oven (cocotte) makes for an impressive cooking experience, for more information, visit Staub.

Serving Thai coconut chicken soup in a round Staub cocotte

Where can I buy Lemongrass?

Many grocery stores now carry such a wide variety of ingredients from around the world, making it so much easier to buy and make ethnic foods. In my area, I’m able to find fresh lemongrass in the produce department (Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joes), either prepackaged with the herbs or bundled and displayed along with other fresh greens. If you’re having difficulty finding it, try asking your grocer to order it for you. Other options would be your local Asian specialty grocery store.

Can I substitute the Chicken for other proteins?

Why, of course you can! This Thai coconut chicken soup is also stunning made with seafood instead, such as lobster tail or shrimp. You can also leave out the proteins, substitute the fish sauce as listed below, and go vegan or vegetarian if you prefer.

What can I substitute for Fish Sauce?

I know, it’s fishy…and to some, that’s where you just lose interest in this recipe. If you have allergies, can’t find fish sauce, want to make it vegan or vegetarian, or simply don’t want anything to do with it, here’s a couple of fish sauce alternatives:

  • To substitute the 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, mix together 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with 2 teaspoons of lime juice. (I use this version the most if I’m out of fish sauce).
  • Use same amount called for in recipe with Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.
  • Try making a vegan/vegetarian salty shiitake mushroom broth with a bit of soy sauce for an equal 1:1 ratio. Check out Cooks Illustrated for the full recipe.

Coconut curry chicken soup ready to serve and garnished with cilantro and lime wedges

If you’re ready to make you’re own batch of stunning Thai coconut chicken soup, then here’s the recipe! You may also enjoy trying this Coq au Vin or Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup.

Enjoy!

Coconut curry chicken soup ready to serve and garnished with cilantro and lime wedges

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup - Tom Kha Gai Recipe

Yield: 4 - 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A fragrant and easy to make Thai inspired coconut curry soup, Tom Kha Gai recipe! Perfect for chilly nights to cozy up with.  

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil or Canola oil
  • 2 (3-inch) pieces lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces and then sliced lengthwise
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I love to use Better Than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced (I use a mixture of varieties, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce 
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • To Garnish:
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Spring onions
  • Chili oil or paste

Instructions

  1. In a 6 - 7 quart cocotte (dutch oven), heat the oil over medium high heat and sauté  the lemongrass, garlic and ginger for 5 - 8 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Strain broth, discarding the solids, returning the broth back to cocotte.
  3. Add the chicken breast to the broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add in the mushrooms, and continue to simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and mushrooms are tender. Remove the chicken, and shred with two forks, return shredded chicken to broth.
  4. Mix in the fish sauce, sugar, and coconut milk, simmer for about 10 minutes or until soup is sufficiently hot. 

To serve, pour into your favorite bowls or mugs, top with fresh cilantro, lime wedges, spring onions and/or chili oil, to taste.

Enjoy!

Notes

  • To substitute the 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, mix together 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with 2 teaspoons of lime juice. (my favorite version).
  • Use same amount called for in recipe with Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.
  • Try making a vegan/vegetarian salty shiitake mushroom broth with a bit of soy sauce for an equal 1:1 ratio. Check out Cooks Illustrated for the full recipe.

Serve up Tom Kha Gai recipe and cozy up during the chilly nights.

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