Home Recipes No-Fuss Tom Kha Gai Soup

No-Fuss Tom Kha Gai Soup

by Nina
red soup in a light green bowl with vegetables and spice around

This is a simple and delicious version of Thailands most famous coconut spice soup : Tom Kha Gai . It’s a no-fuss Tom Kha Gai Soup recipe and you may already have all ingredients for it at home. I hope you will enjoy my recipe.

About 4 weeks ago I brought my car to my garage for wheels changing and since my garage is more or less on the country side where you normally can do nothing while waiting . I thought I go for a coffee to the restaurant opposite of the street. For a restaurant on the country it really looked more or less hip. Bright and light, a good advertising strategy which you mostly don’t find outside of Graz.

Tom Kha Gai soup I Iove you

So here I was sitting alone with my laptop and waiting and waiting. What you should know about me is if I visit a restaurant where I haven’t been before I will always have a look at the menu. I’m from the restaurant branch and therefore always on the search for exciting thinks other restaurants may serve.

They had a solid menu with a mix of Italian and American Food and some other not so typical dishes like a Tom-Kha-Gai Soup. TOM KHA GAI! What a name and you don’t get that soup very often in or outside of Graz. Do I had to order it? Of course! Nothing better than a cappuccino served with a spicy soup, right 😉 ?

The soup was served in a small black clay pot with 3 king size prawns and sesame flat bread. How pretty! The taste was oh so perfect. Tangy, a little bit sweet and the right spicy-ness that it gave me the heat but not to much that you couldn’t taste the single ingredients. Therefore I knew at ones that I wanted to recreate this awesome dish at home.

silver spoon with red curry paste on a dark stone underground
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Red curry paste has a lot of flavour and adds perfectly to this spicy thai soup

A lot of stress and 4 weeks later I was finally able to get started with my project.

Tom Kha Gai and how to recreate a recipe !

First of all you have to know the main ingredients of the dish you want to recreate. There are a lot of recipes for Tom Kha Gai soup which simple means coconut chicken soup. All recipes normally say that you need lemon grass, kefir lime leaves, coconut milk, fish sauce and ghalant root. Out of these 5 ingredients coconut milk was the only ingredient I had at home and I knew that I only get the other ingredients at an asian supermarket. So what did I do. I googled as anybody would do. I googled a lot of recipes and I googled the main ingredients and their taste.

coriander seeds and Ginger root on a wooden underground
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Coriander seeds and ginger root are important spices for the Tom Kha Gai soup

Tom Kha Gai – If you don’t have the 4 main ingredients what do you take instead and why this was the beginning to the no-fuss part!

Lemon grass tastes as the name already said like lemons or more accurate like limes. the same goes for kefir lime leaves. Instead of these 2 components we will use lime zest and lime juice.

Ghalant root looks like ginger and comes from the same family. Ginger root it will be.

I didn’t have fish sauce either so I simply took soya sauce.

The Beginning

Black pot with ingredients
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In the beginning all the flavour adding ingredients will be roasted in peanut oil

Generally there are 3 ways to cook this soup. With chicken added, vegetables only with an add in and the vegan version.

The beginning is always the same. In a medium size pot the peanut oil or coconut oil will be heated on medium high. I add the minced white part of the spring onions, crushed coriander seeds, coconut sugar (or brown sugar), minced ginger and red curry paste. I cook everything for about 5 minutes until the spring onions are tender. Now I add the coconut milk, chicken broth or vegetables broth, salt, soya sauce and lime juice and zest. Until here everything is the same.

The Chicken Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai Chicken Soup in white bowl, glass with liquid and lemon, dark background
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This is the Classic Chicken Tom Kha Gai Soup.

When I add the soya sauce, coconut milk, broth and lime juice and zest I add the chicken breast too to the pot. Cook everything on medium heat for another 10 minutes. After cooking everything for 10 minutes I add the mushrooms and the red bell pepper and cook another 7-10 minutes. It is very important to add the vegetables later and not with the chicken. Otherwise the vegetables will be too soft and I like my vegetables with a crispy edge. Finally when the vegetables are tender but crispy take the chicken breast and pull it apart with two forks and return it to the pot. High five guys! The Classic Chicken Tom Kha Gai is ready to serve. Sprinkle it with some green spring onion rings.

Vegan Tom Kha Gai with only vegetables

For the vegan vegetables only version I use vegan vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth and please make sure to use a vegan soya sauce brand. We also add the vegetables to the pot when adding the broth, coconut milk and so on. Cook everything for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables have the desired crispness .

I love Add-ins

There are a lot of different add-ins which fit perfectly to the spiciness of the Tom Kha Gai Soup.

Tofu: Tofu is perfect for the vegan Tom Kha Gai. It tastes best if you fry it in some peanut oil with half a spoon red curry paste. So delicious.

Chicken! You already know how to cook the classic chicken version 😉 .

Tiger Prawns: These are my preferred add-ins. Nothing better than delicious cooked prawns. I always peel my raw prawns before I cook them in some peanut oil, fresh minced garlic and half a teaspoon red curry paste for about 8 minutes.

Tom Kha Gai soup in a light green bowl with vegetables and spice around
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Tom Kha Gai Soup with Tiger Prawns add-in. This is the way for me 😉

Other add-ins: There are so many other things you could add to this soup. Basmati rice, more vegetables, fried falafel balls, glass noodles or you could serve the soup with some flad bread or homemade pita bread.

I hope you like my no-fuss Tom Kha Gai soup as much as I do. It is my new go to recipe if I need a fast and spicy soup.

Happy cooking!

Love Nina

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No-fuss Tom Kha Gai Soup

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This is a simple and delicious recipe for Thailands most famous coconut soup: Tom Kha Gai. Its a simple no-fuss recipe and you might already have all ingredients at home. No lemon grass, kefir lime leaves, ghalant root needed.

  • 1 spring onion (medium size, finely cut rings. Only the white part for the cooking , the green part is for garnishing)
  • 2 cm ginger (peeled and minced)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds (crushed)
  • 400 ml coconut milk (about 1 can)
  • 400 ml chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 150 g chicken breast (cut it once in half)
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (small minced)
  • 100 g mushrooms
  1. In a Medium sized pot add the peanut butter oil or coconut oil

    heat oil on medium high heat and add the minced ginger, red curry paste, the white spring onion rings, coconut sugar, soya sauce, and crushed coriander seeds

    fry everything for about 5 minutes and stir everything constantly 

    Now add the coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice and zest and the raw chicken filet and cook everything for 10 minutes

    After the soup has cooked for 10 minutes add the mushrooms and the bell pepperoni cook another 10 minutes

    when the vegetables are soft, take out the chicken breast and pull it into small pieces with the help of two forks 

    Return the pulled chicken back to the pot

    Taste the soup and add salt if needed.

    Serve the soup with some minced green spring onions

*You can cook this recipe without the chicken and it will taste as good as with the added chicken.
*Another add in: Fry some kingsize prawns on medium high heat in some peanut butter oil, minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
*For a Vegan Version please leave out the chicken and use a vegan soya sauce. Tofu fried in peanut butter oil and red curry paste gives the soup a unique add.

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Welcome to 2 Sisters Living Life, a blog about soul-comforting recipes, beautiful food, and food photography.

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