Soup: Chicken and Galangal in Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 cups coconut milk

2 stalks lemongrass, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces and smashed

6 thin slices of fresh or frozen galangal

1 pound chicken breast halves, deboned and skinned

4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, deveined the center

6 small fresh red or green chili peppers, lightly smashed

1/2 cup coconut cream

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

Coriander springs for garnish


In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk over medium heat until gently simmering.  Add lemongrass and galangal and simmer for 5 minutes without cover.

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.  Add to simmering coconut milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is just firm while stirring frequently.  Put lime leaves, chili peppers, and coconut cream and cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the fish sauce and the lime juice.  Make 4 multi-course servings.

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Thai Soup: Emerald Soup

Paste for 4 servings

1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced

8 fresh Kaffir lime leaves, deveined

5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 large shallot, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons peeled, coarsely chopped galangal

2/3 cup water

Other ingredients

2 1/2 chicken part(legs and breast)

1/2 pound poblano chilies, seeded and deveined

3/4 pound cubanelle pepper, seeded and deveined

1/4 vegetable oil

3 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

1 cup unsalted chicken broth

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Fresh basil leaves (for garnishing)

Thinly sliced bird’s eye chilies


To make the paste, blend all the ingredients in a blender for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth.  Set aside.

With a cleaver, hack the chicken into pieces about 1 1/2 inches in size.  Cut both kinds of peppers in half lengthwise then cut he halves on the diagonal into bite-sized slices.  Set aside (these two kinds of peppers are used to get the green color).

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and stir occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes or until the oil separates from the milk.  Add the spice paste, simmer for 5 to 6 minutes more, and stir well to blend the flavors.

Add the fish sauce, sugar, salt, shrimp paste and chicken, and cook for 10 minutes while stirring well to coat the mixture.  add the broth and the remaining 3 cups coconut milk.  Return to a simmer, add the peppers and peas and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender while the pot is partially covered.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve with sliced bird’s eye chilies and rice.  Make it for 4 servings.


The cubanelle peppers and poblano chilies can be substituted with ground lemon grass leaves.

I love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave your comments below