Tom Kha Kai (ต้มข่าไก่), Chicken Galangal Soup

An acquaintance suggested 'Tom Kha Gai' (or 'Tom Kha Kai') during one of our meet-ups. 

'The kids will love them," he had said.

On a spectrum where the 'Tomyam' is at one end while 'Poktek' is on the other, I would say that the Tom Kha Kai sits somewhere in between. It is absolutely delicious and simple to prepare - you should try it out!

Tom Kha Kai (ต้มข่าไก่), Chicken Galangal Soup
Picture Credit: deSIAMCuisine (Thailand) Co Ltd


  • Chicken meat, preferably breast - 2 or 3, sliced into smaller chunks
  • Galangal (lengkuas) - about 5 cm long, sliced
  • Lemongrass (serai) - 2 stalks, sliced diagonally and about 3-inch long each
  • Lemon/Lime juice - 2 tablespoons
  • Thai Chilies or Bird's Eye Chilies (cili padi) - 6 if you want it spicy hot, 2 or none at all if you're making for children
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves (daun limau purut) - 6 leaves, middle vein stripped
  • Tomato - 1, chopped quarterly
  • Coconut Milk  - 200 ml
  • Oyster Mushroom - 1 handful, coarsely stripped
  • Red Onions - 3, chopped
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, bruised
  • Fish Sauce - 3 tablespoons
  • Sugar - 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander (ketumbar) - 3 stalks, chopped
  • Water - 2 to 3 cups
  • Chicken stock cube - 1

How to Make

  1. Prepare a pot and put in the water, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, red onions, garlic, and some of the chopped corianders. Cook for about 6 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Then, put in the sliced chicken. Stir, and cook for about a minute or 2. Then, put in the tomato, chilies, and the rest of the other coriander.
  3. Put in the fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, chicken stock cube, sugar and mushrooms. Put at low heat and leave it until it boils. Don't forget to cover the pot with its lid.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and stir steadily and gently in one direction. Cook for a while before turning off the heat. Your Tom Kha Gai is now ready!
If you seek a more authentic recipe, try out the one in this video:


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