Image: Mai Siam

Coconut Chicken Soup

Tom Kha Gai

This soup, which has the consistency of a broth, may be eaten as a starter but in Thailand it is served (with rice and other dishes) as a main course. Kha is the Thai word for galangal which is an ingredient in this dish.?We recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe as they have better flavour.



  • 1 ltr chicken stock
  • 2 stalks lemon grass (bruised)
  • 1 inch fresh galangal or root ginger (thick slices)
  • 6-8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 medium white onion (sliced)
  • 6 chicken thighs (remove skin and thigh bone) - cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 red chillies (birds eye chillies for extra heat)
  • 1 tin Mai Siam Coconut Milk (400ml)
  • Handful of Thai basil or 2 sprigs of basil
  • 1 tsp?Mai Siam Palm Sugar - to taste



  • Place the lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves and onion into a large pot with the chicken stock. (Bones can be used to make up stock).
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and strain.
  • Return the stock to the pan and add chicken to hot soup, then coconut milk, chilli, lime juice and fish sauce.
  • Simmer gently for approximately 10 minutes and serve, garnished with Thai basil or basil.
  • Season to taste and serve immediately.


Serves 2