Best Tom Kha Gai Soup Recipe
Genuine tom kha gai soup is an uncomplicated delicious meal which gives you that chance to experience one of Thailand’s most popular coconut soups. You will find that it is packed full of fragrant flavors to tempt the taste buds. Thai coconut soup includes an array of interesting ingredients such as limes, lemongrass, and ginger that combine to make a wonderful soup. A good Thai coconut soup can be created on your stove top in about 30 minutes and can be adapted to suit a range of dietary needs making it however it suits your family’s needs.
What Is Tom Kha Gai Soup
Tom kha gai is a well-known Thai dish which has long been popular in America. Accurately translated the meaning of tom kha gai is “boiled galangal chicken” Tom kha gai began life as a humble dish of chicken, and similar to other customary Thai curry dishes, tom kha gai has traditionally been eaten as an appetizer served with rice. Over the years this dish has now ended up in the soup group on menus and in many cookbooks and is served on its own without rice.
Tom kha gai soup is made with chicken in a coconut milk broth which is cleverly infused with a range of oriental flavors. For people who adore eating this soup at restaurants, you will find it is fairly straightforward to make at home. The only difficult element to making tom kha gai is finding some of the special ingredients like the galangal. However, tracking down these amazing tasting ingredients will be worth the effort as you will end up with an amazingly creamy, spicy, homemade Thai soup.
Tom Kha Gai Ingredients
This is a type of herb which can be used in all sorts of recipes from curries to soups. It will give you a powerful lemon fragrance which scents every recipe that you use it with. Lemongrass as you would expect has a lemon taste, but it also has an earthy element to it to add a depth of flavor to your soup. You will find it sold in bunches in larger stores in the grocery isle. You need to buy lemongrass stalks that are fragrant and free from any blemishes. Lemongrass leaves can be dry, but the stalk itself must not be dry. It is sometimes possible to find frozen lemongrass, or you can freeze your own chopped lemongrass to keep for later, so you can go ahead and buy a large bunch even if you only require a stalk or two per recipe. You may even be able to find a lemongrass paste to use in making your tom kha gai soup, which is frequently found in the produce department, but it will not be as fragrant as fresh lemongrass.
Regularly compared to ginger, galangal is a fragrant root which has a tender outer peel and a slightly woody flesh. Galangal is fairly spicy like and does have a flavor similar to ginger but it is richer and darker in taste. Tom kha gai soup is traditionally made with galangal and it is what helps to give it its signature flavor. You should be able to find it in your local Asian food market easily. Buy young galangal, which will have a thinner more accessible peel, and which will be easier to use in your Thai coconut soup.
- Lime Leaves
Lime leaves are used in making tom kha gai soup particularly for their wonderful fragrance. They should be easy to find in your Asian supermarket and they are every so often sold as frozen. Lime leaves look so pretty as a garnish for Thai coconut soup but if you cannot find them then you can try substituting them with lime peel. When you have managed to track them down then ensure that you dry them or freeze the leaves so that you always have some to hand.
Reasons to Make Tom Kha Gai Soup
There are so many reasons to make your very own tom kha gai soup at home:
- It is cheap to make at home and you would be paying much more if ordering tom kha gai from a restaurant.
- There will be minimal preparation, all you need to do is chop your ingredients and add them to your pan.
- You can use store cupboard ingredients. Many of the ingredients in the recipe will probably already be in your kitchen if you regularly make Asian dishes at home helping you to make certain your tom kha gai soup tastes authentic.
- It is really quick to make. This Thai coconut soup takes under 30 minutes to create from scratch however it will taste as if it has been slow cooking away for many hours.
- You can make it to restaurant standard with the right ingredients. You will be producing tasty complex layers as you cook your soup on the stove top.
- The recipe is adaptable and if you wish you can use any vegetables that you like to suit your tastes.
- It can all be cooked in one pan which means there will be less cleaning up after you have finished making your meal.
- You will get balanced of flavors. Tom kha gai soup is a mixture of flavours from spicy, sweet, earthy and salty in the ideal proportions.
- It is easy to make more than you need to save for later. You can even triple up on a tom kha gai recipe so that you always have some in your freezer.
- This Thai coconut soup makes a great leftover if you pair it with rice for a more substantial meal. Tom Kha Gai usually tastes better the next day and it reheats brilliantly.
Tom Kha Gai Recipe or Thai Coconut Soup
This tasty, delicious, aromatic Thai coconut chicken soup can be considered as a perfect meal to eat from a single bowl. It can be made relatively quickly but gives a feeling of satisfaction once you have eaten it.
- 1-piece fresh galangal thinly sliced
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. lime zest
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb. chicken, cut into pieces
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass
- 2 cups chopped oyster mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 4 fresh or frozen lime leaves
- Lime wedges for serving
- Place the chicken into a hot pan for 10 minutes with a dash of cooking oil. Once cooked through the chicken will start to brown slightly.
- Once chicken is cooked begin to make the tom kha soup. Crush the lemongrass and galangal with the back of a knife to allow you to cut them into small pieces. Place the galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves, and broth into a large saucepan with the chicken and leave to simmer. Leave the pan to simmer away for around 10 minutes. Strain the simmered broth into another saucepan to remove any lumpy remains.
- Once the soup has been left to simmer for long enough, reduce the heat and add all of the chopped-up mushrooms to the pan. Simmer the soup and skim the top intermittently until chicken is cooked all the way through and the mushrooms have gone soft. Cook for around 25 minutes before finally adding in the coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce.
- Once all warm you caned through divide up the chicken coconut soup which makes up around 4 medium bowls. Serve with lime leaves and garnish with any remaining lime wedges.
- Always make up double the quantity of your Thai coconut recipe which will allow you to freeze some for another time. Not unlike the majority of other tangy soups, tom kha gai constantly tastes even better when eaten the next day, or after being reheated when you have defrosted it from your freezer overnight.
- This version of the dish can be made spicier by adding a couple of chopped up red chilli peppers to make it the best tom kha gai soup.
- If you wish to keep this dish vegan, then you can use a vegetable stock and in place of chicken you can use a block of tofu which you can add to the soup in bite-sized pieces.
- You can store tom kha gai in your refrigerator for up to five days which is useful if you have made up an extra-large batch. Simply store it in an airtight container.
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So, tom kha gai is clearly one of the simplest, fastest, and yet most tasty soups you will ever make. It is a light, creamy, spicy, and citrusy soup which is packed full of fantastic flavor. This Tom Kha Gai recipe can even be made vegan as well. It is a rich, intricate broth made using interesting ingredients such as galangal, coconut milk, lemongrass and fish sauce along with tender chicken and delicious mushrooms. It can be on your table in around 30 minutes and you can even make up more to store for later.