Tom Kha Gai, or chicken coconut galangal soup, is a Thai soup that is very popular at any Thai restaurant here in the States. I have to say, I never ate it when we lived in Thailand but that’s only because we were hooked on so many other dishes (but that’s a totally different story)!
I have been going for weekly visits to my parents and this week I told my Mom I would come up in the later afternoon and bring dinner. My Mom loves tom kha gai soup, so I told her I would bring a big pot. This soup has the total package, sweet, salty, sour and spicy – the balance always found in Thai food, not to mention it is super easy!
What you will need:
9 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
12 kafir lime leaves
6 stalks of lemongrass
1 can of straw mushrooms
1 can of baby corn
3 cans of coconut milk
6 Thai chilies
20 slices of galangal
6-8 T fish sauce
4 cups water
Cilantro for garnish
1. Prep ingredients. Cut chicken into strips. Cut the root of the lemongrass-removing the outer layers, cut into thirds and bruise. Drain the mushrooms and baby corn and give a rinse (this removes any of the storage liquids which can be salty). Cut the stems off the chilies (these can be omitted, or lessen the eat by removing the seeds). Cut the galangal into thin coin-like pieces.
2. In a pot, over high heat, add the water, the lemongrass, galangal, kafir lime leaves and chilies. Bring to the boil.
3. Add the chicken and bring back to the boil ensuring the chicken gets cooked through (just a couple minutes).
4. Add the mushrooms, the baby corn and the coconut milk and bring back up to the boil, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off and add the lime juice and fish sauce. Taste and adjust any seasonings. You are looking for the balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Ladle desired amount in bowl and garnish with cilantro.
TIP: for a little extra kick, add a few drops of chili oil to each bowl and give a whirl!
Here’s another tip: you can always buy the skin on, bone in chicken thighs as there is quite a price difference. Just remove the skin, trim any fat and cut up. Throw in the bones when cooking and remove before serving…remember bones = flavor!
Cheers and happy eating!