Thai Galangal Chicken Soup ( Tom Ka Gai)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe was given to me by my brother-in-law but origanally from an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook/magazine. The coconut milk tames the spices, making this a smooth and subtle soup. You can use chicjen breast if you prefer them to the chicken thigh meat.. This recipe is gluten-free if you use a purchased or home-made stock that is gf suitable and a gf fish sauce. The whole coriander/cilantro is used in this soup- the roots and stem in the soup base and then the leaves before serving

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cut the lemongrass into 5 cm pieces and pound the pieces with the side of your kitchen knife to bruise them. This helps to release the flavour into the soup.
  2. Using a large saucepan- combine the stock, lemongrass pieces, galangal, whole lime leaves and coriander (cilantro) roots and stems mixture. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the stock through muslin or a fine strainer into a large heatproof bowl. Discard the solids.
  5. Rinse your saucepan.
  6. Return your stock/soup base to the same saucepan.
  7. Add chicken and straw mushrooms. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  8. Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and the sugar. Cook, stirring, until only just heated through. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
  9. Add the remaining ingredients- coriander (cilantro) leaves, red chillies, kaffir lime leaves and the lemon grass slices.
  10. Serve hot.


Most Helpful

Incredible! Just as good as my favorite Thai restaurant. If you have an Asian market nearby and can stock up on galangal, kefir leaves, lemongrass, etc., the actual making of the soup is quite easy. Amazing flavor!

MaineMama October 22, 2016

Absolutely delicious! This recipe of Tom Ka Gai is among the best I've had. I'm fortunate to have an Asian grocery store near the house and a kaffir lime tree in the back yard, so I didn't have to substitute any ingredients. I realized after I took the photo that I left off the red pepper, but added it while eating. It provided the perfect amount of heat. Made for Mike and the Appliance Killers ZWT9.

PanNan August 25, 2013

I have made this soup dozens of times and never thought to cook in the chicken broth! I had been reserving half of the coconut milk for last boil, Also letting the mixture stand for 10 minutes is brilliant! I cant wait to try your method!

tomlinste December 11, 2012

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