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Thai Cooking - Tom Kha Gai, a Tasty Chicken Dish

Updated on October 8, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects customs, recipes, and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in Early American and Indigenous Peoples.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Thailand
Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Thailand | Source

Thai Cooking and Ingredients

When my friends from Thailand were here, they used to make Tom Kha Gai all the time and it is deliciious. It is simple to make and quick to enjoy.

I have a recipe that you might find enjoyable based on this, my first experience with coconut milk and coconut juice. You can add spices of your own that you especially like as well.

I use both coconut milk and juice all the time now, in soups, in main dishes, and in desserts.

The Golden Temple. Thailand was formerly called Siam.
The Golden Temple. Thailand was formerly called Siam.

Cook Time: Tom Kha Gai

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 4 Servings
5 stars from 1 rating of Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai


  • Cooked White Rice, 4 Cups
  • ½ pound of Chicken with bones removed, cut up into small pieces
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 slices white onion
  • ¼ pound shrimp
  • 12 oz. can of coconut milk
  • Can of coconut juice to add as needed.
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • Some ginger root or pickled ginger, several slices
  • 2 or 3 pieces of lemon grass
  • Kaffir lime leaves [use a bay leaf of you cannot find the lime]
  • Coriander to taste
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • Thai fish sauce to taste [must have this for most Thai cooking; my friends always had several bottle sin the house]
  • 3 or 4 fried chili peppers
  • Soy sauce to taste


  1. If rice is uncooked, cook according to package instructions while you are making the rest of the dish.
  2. Boil the ginger, lemon grass, lime leaves, coriander, and garlic in one cup of water in a medium to large pot for 3 minutes to steep the flavors.
  3. Add the chicken pieces to the boiling water and continue to boil for 8 minutes until chicken meat is cooked completely.
  4. Add one can of coconut milk and bring the mixture back to the boil again for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp of Thai fish sauce and the lime juice.
  6. Add 2 slices of white onion and the mushrooms.
  7. Add the chili peppers and bring back to the boil for one full minute.
  8. If the soup becomes too thick and the liquid reduces too much, add some coconut juice to the pot. Coconut juice is thinner than the coconut milk and will not cook down or reduce in the same manner; and, it has a lighter flavor and is better than adding water.
  9. Add shrimp and cook for aboyt 3 minutes.
  10. When all ingredients are heated through and onion crisp-tender, remove from heat and serve over white rice or jasmine rice. Thai noodles or golden rice would serve up just as well.
  11. Add fish sauce to taste, as well as soy sauce.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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