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Best Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Kai or Gai)

So deliciously good, this Tom Khai Kai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup) has the flavors of lemongrass, lime, chili, coconut milk and so much more! Your tastebuds are treated to a creamy, spicy, tangy and savory deliciousness with every mouthful!

Course Dinner
Cuisine Thailand
Keyword creamy coconut chicken soup, Thai chicken curry soup, Thai chicken soup, Thai coconut chicken soup, Thai coconut curry soup, tom kha gai soup, tom kha kai soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Manila Spoon


  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 inch-length galangal (or ginger), peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 stems lemon grass, use only the whitish lower bottom, bruised
  • 5 small shallots (or 1 large yellow onion), peeled and sliced
  • 5 leaves kaffir lime, torn
  • 2-3 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • 2-3 pieces Thai red finger-length chilis, or to your desired spice level


  1. Cut the chicken breast into thin slices. Set aside.

  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the sliced galangal (or ginger), bruised lemon grass, shallots (or onion) and kaffir lime leaves. Saute until aromatic, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken and salt. Pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender.

  4. When the chicken is done, pour in the coconut cream, lime juice, fish sauce and chilis. Bring to a boil. Once the soup starts to boil, turn off the heat.

  5. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve hot and serve with rice!