If you love Tom Kha Gai soup at your favorite Thai restaurant, you will love this easy recipe that tastes just as good.

I usually don’t measure exactly when making this soup. I just keep tasting and add more spice and herbs until I think it’s perfect. So be sure to taste it before serving because it can get really spicy. Remember that you can always add more spice but it’s difficult to take away the spice.


  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless raw chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-size strips
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or 2 T of basil paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • Pieces of fresh ginger or ginger paste – about 1 T
  • Lemongrass paste – about 2 T
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) coconut milk
  • (8 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • Cooked rice – brown or white rice or a mixture of the two is fine.
  • 2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili paste or garlic chili paste (Add more for a spicier soup). I add at least 2 T
  • ½ teaspoon curry, add more or less to your taste
  • ½ tablespoon canola oil

Note: Fresh basil, lemongrass and ginger are good but if you don’t have fresh available, the herb pastes work great and save time. They are available in the produce section of most grocery stores near the bagged salad section.

I keep bottles of Nellie & Joe’s Key West lime juice in my fridge but you can use fresh limes. I haven’t tried 100% Real Lime brand. It’s probably fine too.


  1. Turn stove heat to medium.
  2. Add to a soup pot – the chicken broth, coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, chili paste, lime juice, and fish sauce and bring it to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken strips and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and basil and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add a pinch of salt to taste
  6. Add fresh cilantro leaves to the soup
  7. Serve soup in individual bowls. Rice can be either scooped into the soup bowls or serve the rice in separate small individual bowls that can be spooned into the soup as needed.
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