Tom Kha Gai

This spicy, creamy coconut-based soup is a popular Thai dish packed with flavour and easy to make. The words translate as ‘tom’ – to boil; ‘kha’ meaning galangal and ‘gai’ for chicken. The main flavours come from the galangal and the coconut milk. Its not as spicy as some other Thai soups, but a soft gentle flavour that will soon become a favourite.

What you need:

500g chicken meat – boneless and skinless, preferably thighs, cut into cubes

250g mushrooms, sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup coconut milk

1 stalk lemon grass, smashed and cut into pieces

12 thin slices galangal

5 lime leaves

3 small chillies

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon palm sugar (or granulated sugar)

2 tablespoons lime juice


Fresh coriander to serve

What you do:

Heat the stock until it boils and then turn it down and add the chicken pieces. Let it simmer on a very low heat until the chicken is cooked. Add the lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves and chillies to a mortar and pestle or grinder and mix until well combined. Add the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice and mix well. Once the chicken is cooked, add the spice mixture, coconut milk, mushrooms and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, test the seasoning and serve.

Serve with basmati or jasmine rice and fresh coriander

The Gardener