March 9, 2011

Tom Kha Gai: Homemade Thai Soup

During these cold winter months, Whitney really likes soup. Me, I don't really like soup. It's just, you know, eh. Except the Thai classic, Tom Kha Gai. This soup is amazing. Not even a soup, it's more like a flavor explosion. And if you add the Thai chilies the recipe calls for, explosion is the key word. Like face melting explosion. (I even burned my eye balls taking out my contacts hours later. Had to wear my glasses for two days. Yikes.)  Anyway, I came across this recipe in one of the dozens of daily foodie newsletters that somehow get delivered to my email inbox every morning. It popped out. I love this soup. And knowing Whitney likes soup, I decided that Sunday was the perfect day for homemade Tom Kah Gai. Plus, she had never had it before! Which is a bonus as she had no idea what it really tastes like in case I screwed it up. So off to Fubon Asian Supermarket we went to procure supplies. Lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce (nam pla), kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk, mmmmm. All the ingredients home and 20 minutes later we had amazing soup! (Ok, ok, Whitney would like to point out here that I had a couple beers while chopping up the ingredients and studying the recipe before actually making it. Details, details.) But the point is, it can be made in 20 minutes. Super easy too! 

I hope you all give it a whirl. It's awesome and delicious. Finding the ingredients might be the hardest part, but tracking them down is half the fun! We also made a delicious cucumber salad with rice wine vinegar, cilantro and a touch of sugar that thankfully cooled down our palates from the spicy chilies. 

Here's the recipe I found from Fine Cooking. Enjoy! Or as they say in Thailand, เพลิดเพลิน!


  1. Yum. Looks very tasty. He did a good job for someone who thinks soup is "eh." You guys should try Tom Yum Gai (chicken) or you can use shrimp. It doesn't use coconut milk, but is really tasty. It's a favorite of mine my mom used to make all the time.

  2. tom kha gai is one of my favorite soups. does the homemade version taste close to the restaurant versions? I want to try making it at home.

  3. @reena bee tom yum gai is definitely next. sounds great!
    @caroline i think it was pretty darn close. there wasn't a drop left in the pot, so i suppose that tells you something.

    and what to do with our leftover lemongrass? well an old Chinese man in line at Fubon suggested that we dry out the lemongrass tops to make a delicious tea. And this recipe just popped into my inbox as well: Lemongrass Bars with a Coconut Shortbread Crust! =)

  4. Looks super delicious! And I love this soup as well, but most of the time it is too spicy for me. I eat it anyway and take the stomach pain with strength :)
    Have a lovely day, Kristina

  5. this looks soo soo good! think i'm gonna try this one day, thanks for posting it!

  6. and THIS just popped into my email today as well!
    so helpful those cooking emails.

    The Essential Thai Ingredient Guide

  7. Best. Soup. Ever. My mouth is watering now. lol I've gotta try making it...

  8. Ooh! I definitely want to try this recipe out. Looks delicious!

    Just found your blog btw and loving it!

  9. This is my favorite Thai soup, thanks for the recipe and the inspiration to try making it myself (even though in SF I could probably get it delivered for way cheaper than making it myself).

    I just discovered your blog and I'm loving it. Your photos are great!

    The Naked Rose