Fronk Recipes

Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut and Galangal)

4 servings


30 minutes

total time


For the Galangal Stock:

1 cup (240ml) homemade or store-bought chicken stock (see note)

One 4-inch piece fresh galangal (50g), peeled

For the Soup:

2 2/3 cups (620ml) homemade or store-bought chicken stock (see note)

One 4-inch piece fresh galangal (50g), peeled and thinly sliced

3 stalks lemongrass, bottom 7 inches only, outer leaves discarded, tender core cut on a bias into 2-inch lengths (about 120g)

2 shallots (40g), peeled and roughly smashed in a mortar and pestle

1/4 cup (60ml) fish sauce, divided

1 1/2 pounds (680g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

10 fresh or frozen makrut lime leaves (4g), middle ribs removed

5 to 9 fresh Thai red chiles (5g to 9g total), stemmed and lightly smashed

1 cup (240ml) full-fat coconut cream, such as Aroy-D (see note)

1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lime juice from 2 limes

Cilantro leaves, for garnishing


For the Galangal Stock: In a granite mortar and pestle, add galangal and pound until a coarse paste forms, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from heat. Pour one-third of the warmed chicken stock over galangal in mortar, then with the pestle, press on galangal to extract its flavor into the stock, about 1 minute. Repeat process with remaining chicken stock, pressing on galangal each time to continue to express its flavor, then set aside to let the galangal infuse the stock.

For the Soup: Meanwhile, in the now-empty saucepan, add chicken stock, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add chicken, return to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Pour galangal stock through a fine-mesh strainer into saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible before discarding the fiber. Stir in makrut lime leaves, fresh chiles, and coconut cream then remove from heat. Stir in lime juice and remaining fish sauce.

To serve, divide between warmed soup bowls and garnish with cilantro.

4 servings


30 minutes

total time
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