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Tom Kha Gai - Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

A creamy sister to Tom Yum soup, this soup is meant to be spicy and sour with a hint of creaminess from the coconut milk. The main flavors come from the galangal root and the lime, with the broth and chicken adding a rich comforting element.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Keyword: easy thai coconut soup, easy thai soup, thai noodle soup recipes easy thai soup, tom kha soup calories, tom kha soup vegetarian, tom kha vs tom yum, tom yum goong, tom yum soup
Servings: 4 servings


  • Large pot


  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 6 inch galangal root, sliced and smashed
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3rds and smashed
  • 5 lime leaves, smashed
  • 4 shallots, sliced and smashed
  • 12 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Thai or Serrano chilies, sliced and smashed
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbls fish sauce
  • 3 tbls lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Prepare all the ingredients according to the instructions above. Slice the shallots and chilies before smashing them. Set all ingredients to the side and heat a large pot over medium high heat.
  • Bring chicken broth to a simmer and add galangal root. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk lemongrass, shallots, lime leaves, mushrooms, and chilies. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in shredded chicken, lime juice, fish sauce, and salt and simmer for 2 minutes, until chicken is warmed. Stir in cilantro and remove galangal root, lime leaves, and lemongrass stalks and serve.


The spice level from the dish will come from the Thai/Serrano chilies. Use more/less to your preference. Taste a small piece before adding so you can determine spice level. 
You can make this into a delicious Tom Yum soup by removing the coconut milk, increasing the chicken broth by 2 cups and increasing the amount of lime juice 2 tablespoons. Garnish with a lime wedge.