Quick Tom Ka Gai (Thai Chicken Soup)

    35 min

    The authentic version of this soup has galanga, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. These are available in jars in some supermarkets but this recipe provides a similiar taste without the trouble of difficult to find ingredients.

    258 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 350g (12 oz) boneless, skinless chicken meat
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 (400ml) tins coconut milk
    • 450ml (16 fl oz) water
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh root ginger
    • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/2 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
    • handful chopped fresh coriander

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. Cut chicken into thin strips and sauté in oil for to 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken turns white.
    2. In a pot, bring coconut milk and water to the boil. Reduce heat. Add chicken, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne and turmeric. Simmer until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes.
    3. Sprinkle with spring onions and fresh coriander and serve steaming hot.

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    Reviews in English (224)


    Something else. **FIRST OFF** This is a MOCK version of true Tom Ka Gai soup. However...the taste is very close to the real deal WITHOUT needing "hard to find" ingredients. We loved the ease of the recipe. My changes: omit the turmeric - it made the soup sooo bright yellow! I almost doubled the lime juice. I put in the required amount and then floated a few thick lime slices on top while it simmered. I removed those before serving it. I probably doubled the coriander. I put some in while it simmered, and put more in just before serving. Instead of water I used chicken stock to round out the flavour. I added just enough sugar to sweeten it just a little . I’ve had this soup served both ways ( slightly sweet, and no sugar at all). We prefer it slightly sweet. The soup was EXCELLENT. Do yourself a favour...and DO NOT SMELL THE FISH SAUCE. It's PUTRID AND DISGUSTING! However... once mixed with the other ingredients something magical happens and it was beyond wonderful when all the flavours mingled! I like to put a small scoop of white rice into a bowl and add the soup over that. Will definitely make this again for guests!  -  24 Jul 2008


    Used different ingredients. We loved this soup! Even my 8 year old asked for seconds. My husband said he thought it was even better than our favourite Thai restaurant. The only changes I made were to use 2T soy sauce instead of 4T fish sauce and chicken stock instead of water. Do yourself a favour and make this soup!!!!!  -  24 Jul 2008


    This is at heart a very good recipe for an easy and DELICIOUS soup. I did borrow from some of the other reviews, deciding to use veggie stock instead of water, add lemongrass (2 sticks, bruised), double lime juice, 1/2 tsp brown sugar, double the coriander and putting half of it in the soup while it simmered. I didn't use the turmeric. I also added very thinly sliced shitake mushrooms to give it more substance, and instead of 4 tbsp fish sauce, I did three 1 tbsp soya sauce. Very good soup. There weren't quite enough leftovers (I'll double it next time as we wanted more!), so I put the rest over brown rice the next day and it was delicious, too.  -  19 Jan 2012