Tom Kha Kai (Thai Galangal Soup)


My husband Avi always said that if you have lived in Thailand, you are spoilt for good when it comes to food. It’s true!! No matter where we have travelled…and no matter how good the food may be, after a while we start craving for some authentic Thai meal.

So after our trip, right on the way back from the airport we picked up some Thai herbs from CP (an alternative convenient store for fresh and conventional produce) and once home, I went straight to the kitchen to quickly cook up a house favourite called ‘Tom Kha’ (galangal soup).

Tom kha is very much like the ever- popular tom yum soup, with the addition of coconut milk and a few tiny changes here and there. The sweetness from the coconut milk mixed with the intensity of Thai herbs, chillies and lime leaves makes the soup a top notch starter. I can finish a serving bowl all by myself – it is that good!

With only about five to seven minutes needed on the stove I think you may want to try this one right away!

Ingredients: – (1 big bowl to share)

• 8 slices of galangal (ข่า)
• 1 ½ lemon grass chopped
• 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
• 3 fresh red chillies (leave out if making for kids)
• 1 tsp palm sugar
• 1 lime
• ½ cup oyester mushrooms (or any other mushroom)
• ½ cup diced chicken breast
• ½ cup homemade stock
• 300ml coconut milk
• Culantro* (ผักชีฝรั่ง)
• 2 coriander leaves stalk with root

* Culantro or Mexican cilantro is a long coriander with a pungent scent commonly known as peak chee farang or ผักชีฝรั่ง in Thailand.


1. In a covered milk pan, bring coconut milk to boil on low heat.
2. Once boiling, add stock followed by lemon grass, galangal and chillies (if I am making for kids, I leave out the chillies for now).
3. Smash the coriander leaves (to help release its scent) add to the pan. Cook for 2minutes.
4. Add chicken breast. Cover and cook on low for another 2 minutes.
5. Tear the kaffir leaves into halves; throw them in along with some fish sauce and palm sugar. Give a gentle stir.
6. Add the mushrooms and the cilantro.
7. Turn off heat. Squeeze in some lime juice.
8. Separate the child’s soup and then add in some fresh chillies while the soup is still hot. The flavour will seep in beautifully.



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