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Tom Kha Kai - Chicken Galangal Soup

Aside from tom yam kung, tom kha kai is a really close runner up as my favorite Thai soup. This is another super refreshing soup, and it does feel heavier than tom yam kung since coconut milk is used here instead of just plain water/chicken stock, which makes it a wonderful go to soup for colder season. Making this soup is really simple, the prep work is actually taking way longer than the cooking time. But then, I kind of tried to plate my ingredients as best as I could to take good photos, so yeah :D Anyway, here is what you need, some chicken breast strips and coconut milk.

Tom Kha Kai ingredients: chicken breast and coconut milk.

Next, prepare your vegetables. We are going to use some white button mushrooms and young corn cobs. Feel free to use other mushrooms of your choice, such as straw mushrooms, or even fresh shiitake.

Tom Kha Kai ingredients: young corn cobs and white button mushrooms.

Then, bruised your lemongrass and make a knot, bruise a piece of galangal, grab some kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced some red chilies, scallions, and coriander leaves. And lastly, squeeze some fresh lime juice.

Tom Kha Kai ingredients: lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lime, red chilies, scallions, and coriander leaves.

Once all the prep work is done, we can safely proceed with the cooking. I am refraining myself from repeating steps, so please follow the recipe below, I promise it is super simple :) And here is how the final soup looks like. ♥

Tom Kha Kai - Chicken Galangal Soup

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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