Tom Kha Kai - Chicken Galangal Soup

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

Serves: 6


  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water/chicken stock
  • 4 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas), bruised
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 400 gram boneless skinless chicken breast (Indonesian: dada ayam), cut into strips
  • 250 gram young corn cobs (Indonesian: jagung muda), half each
  • 250 gram white button mushrooms (Indonesian: jamur kancing), quarter each
  • 4 tablespoon lime juice (Indonesian: air jeruk nipis)
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce (Indonesian: kecap ikan)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Garnish
  • 2 scallions (Indonesian: daun bawang), thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (Indonesian: daun ketumbar), thinly sliced
  • 4 red cayenne chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting), seeded and thinly sliced


  1. Place coconut milk, water/chicken stock, lemongrass, galangal, and 5 kaffir lime leaves into a soup pot and bring to a boil over medium heat (high heat has a tendency to curdle the coconut milk and we want to avoid that). Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the soup is fragrant.
  2. Add chicken breast, corn cobs, and mushrooms. Continue cooking gently until the chicken is cooked, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Pour the lime juice, fish sauce, and season with salt and sugar, then add the remaining 5 kaffir lime leaves.
  4. Turn off heat. Laddle the soup into serving bowls, and serve hot garnished with sliced scallions, coriander leaves, and red chilies.

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