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Thai Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai) Recipe


  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 lbs. of chicken thighs or breast
  • 2-3 pcs fresh or dried galangal slices
  • 2 pcs of fresh lemon grass stalks
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A pinch of tamarind paste
  • Fish sauce to taste (Golden Boy Brand is preferable)
  • 13.5oz can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Thai thin soy sauce (Dragonfly brand)
  • 2 slices of white onion
  • 3-4 pcs of Thai fresh chiles (“prik kee noo”)


Boil galangal, lemon grass, garlic, and tamarind in 1 cup of water to bring out the flavor for 2-3 minutes.

Cut 1/2 lb. chicken (thighs are nice or breast) into approx. 2 inch pieces(best if you cut through the bone with a sharp cleaver, but also you can use boneless meat. The bones give a richer flavor.)

Add chicken to the remaining boiling water and boil for another 8 minutes until cooked through.

Add 13.5oz can coconut milk. Bring to a boil again and boil for another 3 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce (“Nam Pla”), 1 tablespoon Thai thin soy sauce (Dragonfly brand), 2 slices of white onion. And if desired garnish with 3-4 pcs of Thai fresh chiles (“prik kee noo”). Bring to a final boil for one minute. Remove from heat and serve over jasmine rice. Add fish sauce to taste.

If fish sauce is not available sea salt is also very good. Thin soy is optional also. Serve over jasmine rice.

See glossary for recipe ingredients you’re not familiar with.

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