Tom Kha — Thai Coconut Soup

**Updated 5/3/2021**

I started to remake this for the blog, but got distracted with the “Little Boss” and forgot to defrost the chicken…and take progress pics. No matter– this is a very simple recipe, and once you get the stock together, you can really add any protein you want! This time, I had sausage– not traditional, but still really good.

I re-worked this into the new post format, but the rest of the original post is below the recipe. Oh, and I almost forgot– if you want to make your own stock, click the link in the ingredients to my post on The Basics.

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

  • 4-6 Skinless Chicken Thighs (*Can sub with desired protein*)
  • 1 Cup Green Onions, chopped (*Can sub with yellow onion or shallot*)
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 1 Cup Shiitake, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Jalapeño, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbs Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs Ginger, minced
  • 1 Kaffir Lime Leaf or 2 Tbs of Lemon Grass (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbs Ginger, mince
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Thai Basil (*Can sub with 2 Star Anise Pods*)
  • 2 Limes, juiced and zested (use the zest if you don’t have lime leaf)
  • 4 Cups Coconut Milk
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tbs Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.
  1. Season your protein with salt, and pepper, then sear on medium-high on both sides until nearly fully cooked. Remove from the pan.
  2. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock, and add garlic, ginger, green onion, and lime leaf. Simmer with coconut milk until the stock is fully combined.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms and carrots. Season with soy and fish sauce, then taste. Add remaining spices, thai basil and cilantro, then return the protein to the pot. Finish with extra lime juice, and cilantro. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Serve with desired noodles.


*Original Post: 5/27/2019*

I found some kaffir lime leaves at the market a few weeks ago, and decided to use them for the first time…and I wasn’t disappointed. Once you combine that intense citrus flavor with the Thai basil, coconut, and turmeric, you have the base for the perfect soup. I ended up using chicken, but I can imagine nearly any protein would sub in well. This is essentially a stock that can move in a few different directions. Can’t find lime leaves? Lemon grass and fresh lime with get you close, but really search for the leaves!

Tom Kha Gai was not as hard as I thought it would be–though I added turmeric for extra flavor and color.


I plated it up, and realized that I forgot the noodles…then when I went looking for rice noodles, I realized I was out… so I used Udon this time. Make the most out of what you have– basically a life lesson in bowl.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s