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.
Tom Kha Gai (Thai-Style Chicken and Coconut Soup with Lemongrass)
- 4 cups chicken foot stock
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced and stems reserved
- 3 Thai chilies smashed
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- 6 lime leaves
- 2 shallots peeled and diced with skins reserved
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 13.5 oz coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- cilantro 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 clean. with 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.