Tom Kha soup

Thai Food Favorites at Home: Tom Kha Soup

I love Thai food.  Pad Thai noodles were just about the only thing I could eat during my first trimester (ok, they might not be the most daring dish, but admit it…they are delicious!!)  Fortunately, Lilu shares my love of Pad Thai and there is a great restaurant on the way home from the barn, so I have a good excuse to treat ourselves on occasion.  Another favorite is Tom Kha soup– creamy coconut milk steeped with herbs and finished with just the right zip of lime.  My darling husband, always up for a challenge (and an opportunity to prove his prowess in the kitchen), took it upon himself to recreate both of our favorite Thai meals at home.  I will share the Pad Thai recipe another day (it’s fantastic!) but today we had Tom Kha for dinner, so here you go!

What you need:


  • 2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 cans coconut milk
  • 1 small ginger root
  • 2-3 stalks of fresh lemongrass (find in produce with fresh herbs)
  • 3 limes
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 broccoli crowns
  • 2-3 bunches cilantro
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 2TB sugar
  • 1TB fish sauce (find in international aisle)
  • 1 clove garlic (or garlic powder equivalent)

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients…they pretty much all go into one pot, so it’s actually a very simple recipe!

To release the flavors, the ginger root and lemongrass will need to be “smashed.” Hubby uses a hammer (yes, a real hammer), but obviously a proper kitchen mallet will work just fine.


In a large soup pot (or dutch oven, as pictured), combine: cilantro, ginger, lemongrass, onion, garlic, sugar, and coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer (medium heat), cover, and cook for 15 minutes.


While the broth is cooking, sauté chicken until just underdone (will finish cooking once added to broth.)


We love veggies, so we steam broccoli to add to the finished soup:


After 15 minutes is up, strain the broth to remove all of the large chunks of herbs and vegetables.  If needed, use a spoon to squeeze out all the juice.


Add juice from 3 limes and 1TB fish sauce to broth.


Return broth to large pot and add sliced mushrooms.  Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes until mushrooms are soft.


Once mushrooms have softened, remove pot from heat.  Add chicken and broccoli, garnish with cilantro leaves and green onion. Enjoy the soup as an appetizer, or as is traditionally done, served over rice as a meal.  Yum!!


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