cook it – tom kha gai soup

Photo: Bon Appetit
Photo: Bon Appetit


I make this soup pretty regularly for the hubs. It’s super easy, delicious, and makes the house smell amazing. We like to make it a little more hearty so we’ve added noodles, carrots, and onion to the recipe. Fancy mushrooms aren’t easy to come by here in Nosara so I used what I could get.
The photo above is from Bon Appetit and the hubs is giving me shit about not using my own photos but…I forgot to take a pic (I was really hungry), our plates are so damn ugly I am ashamed (so maybe I didn’t forget to take a pic), and my photography skills are pathetic. I’ll work on it I swear. Anyway…here’s what to do:


  • 1 1” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (I used regular lime leaves) or 1 Tbsp. lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1” pieces
  • 8 oz. shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed (can substitute lemon juice)
  • 1 med. carrot sliced thin
  • 1 med. white onion thinly sliced
  • Rice or Bean thread noodles
  • Chili Pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)


  • Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 15-20 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.
  • Add chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add carrots, wait 3 minutes then add mushrooms and onions, simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. I like for the vegetables to have a slight crunch to them. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, chili pepper flakes, and sugar. Turn off the heat and add the noodles, they only take a minute or two to soften.
  • Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges.

The original recipe can be found at Bon Appetit

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