Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai) {video}

In the winter months, soup is always a favorite—you can put everything in the pot and (almost) forget about it.  In 2012, my sister and I travelled to a small village in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we learned to make one of my favorite soups: Tom Ka Gai.  It’s a combination of coconut, lime, and, in this case, chicken (but you could add shrimp or go veggie instead).  I even love to use it as a sauce, ladling it over rice and calling it lunch.  


Some of those Thai herbs (lemongrass and ginger) can be intimidating and might even prevent you from cooking Thai food at home.  But don’t worry—I got ya’ covered.  (Psst...this is what real lemongrass looks like)

Watch the video below to learn how to easily process fresh lemongrass (including a little tip for something cool you can do with the left over stalks—don’t throw them away!)  You’ll be making this soup all winter long.


Watch recipe video here:

Food La La Recipe:  Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Serves: 4


  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 inches ginger, peeled and cut into a few big chunks (you’ll have to remove these later so don’t chop too small!)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (see video for how to process - you’ll have to remove these later so don’t chop too small!)
  • ¾ large white onion, peeled then cut into large slices
  • 2 raw chicken breasts cut into medium chunks
  • 4-5 small Thai chilies, diced (depending on how much spice you like)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of organic, halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 green onions – for garnish


1.  Bring coconut milk and water to a boil then reduce to simmer.  Add lemongrass and ginger.  Let simmer 5 minutes.   (Why? #1). 

2.  Add onion, chicken and chilies.  Simmer until chicken is cooked through (8-10 min), adding the tomatoes after about 5 min.

3.  Add soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and salt to taste.

4.  Ladle into bowls, removing the chunks of lemongrass and ginger, and top with an extra squeeze of lime and green onions. 



Psst!  Some Recipe Notes:

WHY? #1:  The heat from the liquid will bring out the flavor of the lemongrass and ginger

*Note:  If you don’t have fish sauce, skip it and add 1 more TBS soy sauce

*Note:  To make this GF, use GF soy sauce or Tamar