Thai chicken coconut soup for the first chill of autumn
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Tom Kha Kai or Thai chicken coconut soup infused with fresh lemongrass, thin slices of galangal, few drops of fish sauce and only if I could add kaffir lime leaves. However Thai basil adds a different flavour to the dish.
  • Chicken stock ( I use homemade stocks) : 1½ cup
  • Boneless chicken pieces (breast or tenderloin) : 1 cup
  • Fresh Lemongrass : 1 stalk
  • Fresh Galangal : 1 inch piece thinly sliced
  • Fish Sauce : 1 tbsp
  • Thai bird's eye chili : 3-4 fresh red color
  • Lime : 1
  • Coconut milk : ½ cup
  • Thai basil leaves : 1 sprig
  • Use Kaffir lime leaves if you can find it.
  1. Heat the chicken stock and reduce it slightly. I prefer homemade chicken stocks made from bone in chicken pieces with a pinch of salt.
  2. Only the white portion of lemon grass is usable. Smash the white portion of lemon grass, and scrape the inner white fleshy part and put it into the chicken stock pot.
  3. This will help to release the flavour. You can also put the outer thick hard part of lemon grass too in the stock pot for extra flavourings.
  4. Crushed the galangal a bit and add it to the chicken stock.
  5. Add the chicken pieces and bring the whole thing to a gentle boil.
  6. Simmer and cover till the chicken is partially cooked through.
  7. Add the coconut milk, followed by fish sauce, bird chillies (slit them or smash them), and juice of one lime.
  8. Simmer on low heat till the chicken is well cooked.
  9. Remove immediately and check for the seasonings.
  10. A few more drops of fish sauce may be required to get the flavours right.
  11. If you want it to make more spicy, you can sprinkle few more bird chillies over the soup.
  12. Stir in the kaffir lime leaves or Thai basil leaves, close the lid and let it remain sit for few minutes.
  13. Serve it with steamed rice.
Recipe by saffronstreaks at