This Tom Kha Gai Soup recipe, also known as Chicken Coconut Soup, is an incredibly aromatic and flavorful Thai dish made with chicken, mushrooms, lemongrass, ginger, and peppers in a creamy coconut broth.
Coconut Chicken Soup, also known as Tom Kha Gai, is a delicious Thai dish that’s sure to warm you up with its sweet heat and flavors!
Every special occasion – college graduation, birthdays, lung transplant anniversaries, etc., we would celebrate at my favorite Thai food restaurant.
After a decade of ordering Panang Curry (Coconut Chicken Curry) and sampling everyone else’s dishes, I still remained faithful to my Panang Curry, nothing else tempted me.
Then some of our friends ordered Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup) and my world was changed forever. I cannot believe I missed out on this heaven in a bowl for so long!
The warm coconut broth is infused with lemongrass, red curry, ginger, and basil, with thinly sliced tender chicken, mushrooms and red bell peppers.
It’s bright and refreshing, its both light and rich at the same time, and the layers of tantalizing spices are mesmerizing.
I’ve researched authentic Tom Kha Gai recipes, many of which call for some ingredients that are hard to come by, so my version contains only ingredients you can find at your local market but tastes every bit as authentic.
The only ingredient that might be foreign to you is lemongrass, but don’t be intimidated! It is super easy to work with and can usually be found next to the ginger in most grocery stores.
How To Make Tom Kha Gai Chicken Coconut Soup
Tom Kha Gai Soup is really easy to make and it’s so freaking good you’ll want to make it ALL the time!
Step 1: Begin by heating 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add red chili paste, red pepper flakes, and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the sliced chicken breast and saute until opaque but not cooked through.
Chicken Thighs could also be used!
Step 2: Next, add the chicken stock, bay leaves, fresh ginger, fresh lemongrass, basil, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low; cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Then, stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, mushrooms, and red bell pepper.
Simmer a couple of minutes over medium heat until bell peppers are crisp-tender.
Step 4: When ready to serve, ladle out lemongrass stalks, bay leaves, and ginger chunks. Taste and add additional salt, pepper and Sriracha to taste.
Step 5: Garnish individual bowls with fresh cilantro, green onions, fresh basil, and fresh lime juice.
No pictures can do this soup justice, so I hope you trust me when I say if you like Asian food, you are going to love this soup.
Please make this Tom Kha Gai soon – you don’t want to miss out on this soothing, comforting heaven any longer!
More Delicious Soup Recipes
Tom Kha Gai Soup
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This post was originally published in October 2014 and was updated with new photos in March 2019.
Coconut Chicken Soup – Tom Kha Gai
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon Thai red chili paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pound chicken breasts cut into thin strips
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger peeled and cut into 4 chunks
- 3 stalks lemongrass*
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 13 ounces coconut milk canned
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice or juice of 2 limes
- 8 oz. mushrooms sliced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- Sriracha/hot chili sauce to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- green onions
- fresh basil
- lime juice
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add red chili paste, red pepper flakes, and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add chicken and saute until opaque but not cooked through.
- Add chicken stock, bay leaves, ginger, lemongrass, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low; cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, mushrooms, and red bell pepper. Simmer a couple of minutes until bell peppers are crisp-tender.
- When ready to serve, ladle out lemongrass stalks, bay leaves and ginger chunks.
- Taste and add additional salt, pepper and Sriracha to taste.
- Garnish individual bowls with fresh cilantro, green onions, fresh basil, and fresh lime juice.