Tom Kha Gai is my mother’s favorite dish to order at a Thai restaurant. No matter what else she gets she always orders a bowl to start her meal. When she fell ill to a bout of nasty Shingles I decided to make her some chicken soup to make her feel better. Tom Kha Gai is literally “chicken galangal soup” or Thai Coconut Chicken soup which is a spicy and sour hot soup made with coconut milk. Our family is very fond of Thai food so we eat it often and I decided I would try and copy the version we liked best at one of our local haunts. There are other versions of Tom Kha Gai made with seafood called Tom Kha Thale, made with pork it is Tom Kha Mu and with Tofu it is Tom Kha Taohu. If you are a Vegetarian or Pescatarian, the Tofu or Seafood versions are easily achieved, just substitute tofu or seafood (shrimp, fish, scallops) for the chicken in this recipe. Since I wanted to make my mom’s favorite, I determined I would use chicken along with red pepper, carrots, onion, straw mushrooms, bamboo shoots, fresh cilantro, lemongrass, ginger, sriracha, lime juice, red curry paste, coconut milk and broth.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of creating your favorite Thai dishes at home. To get started heat oil in a pan and add onion, pepper and carrots. Add salt to aid in release of fluids and sauté in oil until it all begins to soften. Drain and rinse bamboo shoots and mushrooms and add them to the pan. This is a very fragrant dish… my house smelled amazing!
Add in your cooked chicken, canned is fine or you can use 2 cups of rotisserie chicken. De-glaze your pan to get all those yummy brown bits of flavor with a splash of liquid from the bamboo shoots. Stir in the red curry paste, lemon grass and fresh ginger.I am so excited because this year I am growing my own ginger and turmeric, but for this I used some fresh ginger I picked up at the market.
Swanson has a whole line of flavor infused broths that really make soups special. Just stir in half a box of Swanson Thai Ginger broth and then fold in coconut milk. Add the lime juice and Sriracha
and allow the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Next chop up half a bunch of cilantro and add that to the pan and allow to simmer a bit longer. I like to garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro to serve it as well. When I served this steaming bowl to my mom, she said that I had beaten the restaurant and she ate it right down. Happy.
- 1 small red onion sliced thin
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 4 slices peeled fresh ginger
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 T lime juice
- 4 tsp red curry Paste
- 2 T lemongrass paste
- 2 C cooked chicken
- 1 can straw mushrooms drained & rinsed
- 1 can bamboo shoots drained & rinsed
- 2 cans Thai Kitchen coconut milk
- ½ box of Thai Ginger broth
- 1 T (+/-) Sriracha
- Pinch Sea Salt
- Heat oil in pan and add onion, pepper & carrots
- Add salt to aid in release of fluids
- Drain and rinse bamboo shoots and mushrooms and add them to the pan.
- Add 2 C cooked or canned chicken
- De-glaze with a splash of liquid from bamboo shoots
- Stir in red curry paste, lemon grass and fresh ginger.
- Stir in ½ box of Thai ginger broth and then fold in coconut milk.
- Add the lime juice and Sriracha, allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Chop up ½ a bunch of cilantro and add that to the pan and allow to simmer a bit longer.
- Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro to serve.