Tom Kah Gai is a traditional Thai soup. Chopped chicken thighs and shiitake mushrooms swim in a flavorful broth perfumed by ginger, shallots, lime, lemongrass and chile peppers. Deeply aromatic, its flavors offer a beautiful combination of sweet, salty and sour that’s spiked with just a little bit of heat. You can top it with a handful of fresh herbs like cilantro and Thai basil which give the soup a wonderful, vibrant green punch.
We serve ours as a light meal, topped with a squeeze of lime, and accompanied by a bowl of steamed jasmine rice. I often serve sliced mangoes or cultured coconut mango popsicles for dessert.
Broth and Stock
Tom Kha Gai is one of several of my family’s favorite recipes – those featuring wholesome, homemade broth and stock which serve as the foundation for traditional foods around the globe. My newest cookbook, Broth and Stock (available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and through your local bookseller), focuses not only on wholesome, protein-rich bone, meat and vegetable broths – but also simple, approachable recipes that can help you to incorporate them into your family’s everyday meals.
|Tom Kha Gai (Thai-Style Chicken and Coconut Soup with Lemongrass)|| |
- 4 cups chicken foot stock (see Chicken Foot Broth recipe in Broth and Stock) or other chicken bone broth
- ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and stems reserved
- 3 Thai
- 1 (6-inch) stalk of lemongrass, smashed
- 2 (1-inch) knob ginger, sliced and peeled with skin reserved
- 6 lime leaves or 1 lime
- 2 shallots, peeled and diced with skins reserved
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Order pasture-raised chicken here.)
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (Find coconut milk in BPA-free cans here or make it yourself).
- ¼ cup fish sauce (Available here.)
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (Find it here.)
- Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- Thai basil, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Toss shiitake stems, chiles, lemongrass, ginger peelings, shallot skins and lime leaves into the simmering broth. Cover the saucepan, and let the aromatics infuse the broth with their flavors about twenty minutes.
- Turn off the heat and strain the broth into a pitcher or jar through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Wipe the saucepan
cleanwith a kitchen towel to remove any stray debris.
- Return the flavored broth to the saucepan and then add mushroom caps, sliced ginger, and shallots. Spoon in the chopped chicken thighs. Stir the coconut milk, fish sauce, and palm sugar into the broth and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables soften and the chicken cooks through, turning an opaque white, about twenty-five minutes.
- Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with sprigs of cilantro and Thai basil and serve with lime wedges alongside.