Prepare to be blown away by the sheer perfection of this Tom Kha Gai soup recipe, also known as Thai coconut chicken soup. It’s the epitome of culinary delight, striking the perfect balance between richness and creaminess, tanginess and saltiness. Every spoonful of this soup is a revelation of flavors that will leave you wanting more. Trust me, I’ve made and tried countless versions, and this one takes the crown as the best Tom Kha Gai recipe ever. The best part? It caters to a variety of dietary preferences, offering options for Whole30, paleo, and even vegan lifestyles. So, whether you’re looking for a satisfying yet light meal, or you want to embark on a flavor adventure, this Tom Kha Gai soup has got you covered. Get ready to experience taste bud bliss!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- half of one onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- half of one red jalapeno pepper sliced; or 1-3 Thai chiles, halved
- 3 ¼-inch slices galangal or ginger
- 1 lemongrass stalk pounded with the side of a knife and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
- 2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
- 4 cups chicken broth see Notes if vegan or on Whole30
- 4 cups canned full-fat coconut cream unsweetened, or full-fat unsweetened coconut milk; see Notes
- 2 medium chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces, see Notes for vegan/vegetarian or to use shrimp
- 8 ounces white mushroom caps sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar see Notes for Whole30 option
- 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons fish sauce plus more to taste, see Notes if on Whole30 or vegan
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2-3 green onions sliced thin
- fresh cilantro chopped, for garnish
In a medium pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno or chile, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, and red curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Strain out the aromatics (the garlic, onions, lemongrass, and ginger) and discard. Add in coconut cream or milk, chicken breast (or tofu or shrimp), and mushrooms. Simmer until chicken breast pieces are just cooked through, then add fish sauce, coconut aminos (or coconut sugar), and lime juice, plus more of each to taste.
Cook for 2 minutes, then ladle into serving bowls and top with sliced green onions and fresh cilantro.
- Be sure to use coconut cream or coconut milk. Coco lopez and coconut creamer are not the same as coconut cream/coconut milk and will not work in this recipe.
- To use shrimp, simply stir in 1 pound of raw shrimp instead of chicken. Simmer until just cooked through, pink, and no longer translucent.
- Make it Whole30: Use compliant chicken broth. Use 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos instead of coconut sugar. Use Red Boat fish sauce – this is the only fish sauce I’ve found to be compliant.
- Make it Vegan/Vegetarian: Use vegetable stock, preferably an Asian variety. Use a 1-pound block of firm or extra firm tofu (regular or silken) cut into bite-sized cubes. For vegan, use soy sauce (to taste) instead of fish sauce.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 678kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 60g, Saturated Fat: 52g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 1507mg, Potassium: 1051mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 355IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 5mg, Net Carbs: 15g