Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

This soup gets its rich, creamy texture from the coconut milk and it perfectly balances against the chile paste, ginger and bell pepper. The shredded chicken gives it the heartiness that we love in cozy soups.
  • Servings: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chile paste; see Notes)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1¼ cups light coconut milk 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts (see Notes)
  • 1 cup cooked white rice (see Notes)
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Stir in the sambal oelek, then add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and cooked rice to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes, until fully heated through.
4. Discard the lemongrass. Add the green onions, basil, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
5. Ladle into bowls and serve.

If you wish, substitute Sriracha for the sambal oelek.
To cook the chicken, place 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Shred.
One-third cup dry rice equals about 1 cup cooked rice.

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