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Chicken in coconut soup with galangal & chillies

Learn how to make Tom Kha Gai, Chicken in coconut soup with galangal and chillies. It’s so yummy creamy. In the winter night, this soup always make me warm and content inside after having it.



Ready In:

20 -30 mins

Good For:

Lunch & Dinner


About this Recipe

By: Cherie Jones

Chicken in coconut soup is a comforting food. The flavours are creamy, sweet, salty and sour. Thai herbs such as galangal and lemongrass are fresh and fragrant. The softness and creamy of chicken and the broth make this dish a national favourite.

Chicken in coconut soup – Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2.5 tablespoon Lime ( Half large Lime)

Chicken in coconut soup- Ingredients

  • 300 grams  chicken slices
  • 400 ml coconut milk 
  • 1 rhizome of galangal
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass
  • 2 shallots
  • 3-4 Kaffir Lime leaves
  • 4-5 bird eyes chillies (up to your taste)
  • 4-5 dried chillies ( you don’t need to put this, if you don’t have)

Garnish  & Condiments


  • coriander

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Boil some water. Once it’s boiling, put chicken, 2-3 pieces of galangal, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves in to the pot. Then simmer with the medium heat.

Step 2

Toast some dried chillies  with a little oil in another pot that we will make the Tom Kha soup in. Take out the toasted dried chillies. Leave them on the side. We will use these dried chillies to garnish at the end.

Step 3

Use the same pot that we toasted dried chillies. Put 250 ml of coconut milk in. Keep stirring at a medium heat. When it starts to boil, add the galangal, lemon grass and shallots. Keep stirring.


Step 4

Measure 150 ml chicken stock from chicken pot. Take all chicken out and add into the pot that has our coconut milk. Mix them together then add 150 stock that we prepared. Mix them together. Then bring it to the boil.

Step 5

Add tomatoes, mushrooms and a teaspoon of tamarind paste. Mix everything together. 

Step 6

Add 150 ml of coconut milk to the pot and then mix them together. Keep stirring.

Step 7

Add chillies, Kaffir Lime leaves, and a table spoon of sugar, half teaspoon of salt then bring it to the boil. Remember to keep stirring as we don’t want coconut milk to split. 

Step 8


Once boiling, turn down the heat. Then add fish sauce. Stir the soup then turn off the heat. Then add lime juice and coriander leaves. Mix them thoroughly. And serve immediately. Garnish with coriander and toasted dried chillies.