Tom Kha Gai Recipe – Thai Coconut Soup
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This Tom Kha Gai Recipe is one of the most flavor packed soups that you can ever eat! Each mouthful you’ll find different flavor profiles of sweet, salty, sour, yet they all work in complete harmony with each other to create a simply brilliant soup which is a staple of authentic Thai food

The first time we tried this dish, and still the most memorable was at the legendary Night Market restaurant in West Hollywood, California. The dish is packed full of Shrimp, Chicken, and Mushrooms comes served in a brilliantly elaborate device which has a candle in the center of it to keep the soup warm. It’s so tasty I didn’t understand why you needed it to keep warm as I would devour it as soon as I could!

It is also one of the healthier soups you can make and one of our favorite dishes to eat!

Tom Kha Gai Recipe top down photo

It’s the unique ingredients in this Tom Kha Gai Recipe that give it such a unique flavor

Thai food is just great. They use ingredients native to their part of the world which are truly outstanding. The flavors are simply so pronounced, bold, and delicious. This Tom Kha Gai Recipe is no exception. There are a few standout ingredients which make this recipe amazing. We highly recommend you pick them up and keep them in your pantry. Once you’ve used them once you’ll want to add them to all your dishes! (ok maybe don’t add these if you’re baking cookies!)

Fish Sauce

A unique and extremely pungent recipe made from dried and fermented Anchovies. If that doesn’t sound appetizing then that’s totally ok. The smell of this sauce is even worse! Don’t let that fool you however! Adding Fish Sauce to this soup gives it a beautiful, sweet flavor. Yes, there’s a little bit of funkiness in there, but it’s a good kind of Funk. Fish Sauce is an ingredient that truly defines Thai cuisine


Once a highly sought after ingredient, Lemongrass is now widely available all over the world. It’s not an ingredient that you eat, instead it is used to flavor dishes such as Soups and Curries. Similarly to how say, a Bay Leaf is used

The key to unlocking the Lemongrass flavor is to literally bash it to break up its tough, fibrous skin. Doing so releases the beautiful oils and flavors inside the Lemongrass. The flavors are like ginger, but with a little bit of citrus in there. Hence the name Lemongrass!

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk is a common ingredient in global cuisine, and one that is used extensively in dishes from Southeast Asia and South Asia in particular. Coconut Milk adds a beautiful creamy luxury to dishes as well as an immense amount of flavor. Rich, sweet, Coconut flavor is what you’re getting when you bust open a can of Coconut Milk and pour it into your Tom Kha Gai Recipe. The Coconut Milk is what gives this dish its defining color and texture

Recipe Details


4 – 6 people

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

3 hours

Total time

3 hours, 20 minutes

Tom Kha Gai Recipe – Thai Coconut Soup


  • 2 liters / 8 cups of Shrimp Stock (See Stock recipe)
  • ½ lb. Peeled Shrimp
  • ½ lb. Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 Lemongrass Stick
  • 3 tbsp. Red Curry Paste
  • ½ White Onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ White Onion, sliced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • Juice of 4 Limes
  • 4 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 4 Red Chilis, finely chopped (Seeds optional)
  • 400ml (14 fl. oz) Coconut Milk
  • ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup Enoki Mushrooms
  • Salt


  1. Flatten the Lemongrass to release its flavor by hitting it with the side of a cleaver or knife. Add Lemongrass to a large pot with the coarsely chopped White Onion, Chilis and Garlic Gloves over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until aromatic, then add the Red Curry Paste and cook for 3-4 minutes
  2. Add the Shrimp Stock, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. The goal here is to infuse the stock with all those lovely aromatics
  3. Remove from heat and strain the stock. Discard everything but the stock and pour it back into the large pot. Add the Fish Sauce, Brown Sugar, Lime Juice, and Coconut Milk then heat gradually. We don’t want to bring this to a simmer, just warming through to ensure everything is cooked and nicely incorporated. Season well with Salt then taste
  4. The Soup really is a bit of a preference for flavor. If you like it more on the acidic side then add more Lime, if you like it a bit tangier then add more Fish Sauce. Sweet, add sugar etc.
  5. Add the Mushrooms and Sliced Onions, then after about 2 minutes add the Chicken and Prawns. The Chicken and Prawns won’t take long to cook at all, so add them last; should only take about 2 -3 minutes
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of Cilantro over the top and dive in!

There you have it! A classic Tom Kha Gai recipe that is very simple to prepare and an absolute flavor bomb. If you enjoyed this recipe then please check out our other dinner recipes for more delicious meals

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