Recipe: Tom Kha Gai

Post by Olivia Martino, Registered Dietitian and Owner, Nourish Northwest


After many, many attempts, I gave up at trying to make this soup a few years ago.  There was just some missing secret that I couldn’t seem to figure out to make my homemade Tom Kha taste like it was straight out of a Thai restaurant.  I decided that some things were probably just better left unknown and resorted to various Thai restaurants around town when I got a craving for this delicious soup.  

This weekend I decided to give it a try again and found this recipe on the Bon Apetit website.  It seemed super simple and not unlike versions I had tried before.  I’m not sure what it was, but this recipe surprised me and tasted just like the real deal!  It was just what our household needed after feeling a little under the weather.  This soup is a must!!! Enjoy!

Tom Kha Gai




  • 1 1” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves 
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1” pieces
  • 8 oz. shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 bunches baby bok choy, washed well and sliced, stems and leaves separated
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce 
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
  • Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)


Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

Add chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, tomatoes and bok choy stems and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce,  bok choy leaves and sugar.

Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges.

adapted from bonappetit


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