Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Kai)

A creamy, spicy soup with a fresh touch and a hint of acidity that makes this Vietnamese soup a great recipe for the hot months, as long as it’s served cold (yes, it can be made and is just as good as ramen and many others). The recipe comes from my friend Antonio Luna, member of Taco Alto taquerias – a great chef who knows much more than Mexican gastronomy – and manages to maximize the flavor of this dish without using hard-to-find ingredients.

The name of the recipe Tom Kha Kai any one Tom Khagal, is derived from the use of a root called galangal – ginger’s first cousin with a slightly different taste – which, along with kefir lime leaves, is hard to find if you don’t live in a big city. “In this recipe, these two ingredients are substituted to make it easier to prepare,” says Luna, who uses chicken to make the dish, but assures that it can easily be turned into a vegan dish, adding this meat to mushrooms or tofu, and the broth to a vegetable.

I recommend making the stock twice and freezing it so that it’s ready when you want this soup again – I’m sure it won’t last long, the combination of flavors is addictive – or make rice with mussels and shrimp. . Will it be canon? No way. Will be good? Don’t have the slightest doubt; if you wish to use the whole clams, peel them, roast the heads and shells in a pan, add the broth and another glass of water, and boil the whole together for ten minutes; after this time pass through a fine sieve and the rice is ready.


Find an Asian store with the -few- products you need.


for 4 people

for the broth

  • 1 box of 400 g coconut milk
  • 1 ginger root about 5 cm
  • ½ red chili (hot)
  • 3 lemongrass sticks
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (soy can be substituted for the vegan option)
  • 700 ml of chicken or vegetable soup


  • 2 chicken breasts (not necessary if we are making a vegan option)
  • 200 g portobello mushrooms
  • 120 g girgola (400 g if we make a vegan version, or 300 g tofu)
  • A handful of coriander leaves


  • ½ red onion
  • Juice of a lime
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Spiced oil (optional)
  • ½ red chili (hot)


  1. Cut half the red onion into small pieces and put it in a bowl with lime juice, salt and pepper. Let it marinate at least while the food is being prepared.
  2. Pour the entire can of coconut milk into a pot, followed by an equal amount of water (in the same pot so that the contents drip off) over medium heat to start heating it up.
  3. Cut 10 thin slices from the piece of ginger, divide ½ chili lengthwise into four parts -if a seed remains, it will sting better-, remove the peel from ½ lime -without the bitter white part- and chop three lemongrass roots. that the flavor is loosened when making the infusion. Add everything to the mixture of water and coconut milk and bring to a boil over low heat.
  4. When it boils, add the soup and bring back to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add a teaspoon of fish sauce (soy sauce if making a vegan version). Let it stand for about 10 minutes on the lowest heat, you don’t need to boil it on the lowest heat.
  6. The mushrooms are laminated, and the gargoyles are cut lengthwise.
  7. Cut the breasts into strips one centimeter wide and salt them.
  8. Strain the infusion and put it back on the fire. Add the mushrooms to the bottom and cook over medium heat for four minutes.
  9. Add the chicken – or the tofu if you’re making it vegan – and cook on high for another five minutes. If we make it only with mushrooms, we cook it at the same time.
  10. Remove from the heat, add the coriander and squeeze the juice of a lime. Since we are going to drink it cold, let it cool down and then put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours (or until it reaches the desired temperature).
  11. Serve in a bowl and garnish with a few slices of red chilli, a generous amount of pickled red onion, a few coriander leaves and a lime wedge. Add a teaspoon of spiced oil on top as a finishing touch (optional).

If you make this recipe, share the result on social networks with the hashtag #RecipesComidista. And if it goes wrong, file a complaint with the Cook Ombudsman at

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