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  • Writer's pictureSusan

Low Carb Homemade Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)

Updated: Feb 7

Family Staple

Many families have a go-to soup recipe. The go-to recipe in our home is Tom Kha Gai or Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. Not only is this Thai chicken soup absolutely delicious, but it can be made fairly quickly and there is really no special skill required to make it. There are no fancy kitchen tools needed, nor any whisking or pureeing of any sort. It’s just a dump-it-in-and-cook-it type of recipe.

When I am short on time, this is precisely my kind of cooking. If you are a fan of Thai food or are just in the mood to try something tangy and delicious, this is a soup that does not disappoint.

This soup is also a nutritional powerhouse. I prefer to make the stock from scratch for the base. That way you are getting all the amino acids, gelatin, and collagen from the stock. It is also infused with galangal and lemongrass. Galangal is a wonderfully pungent rhizome related to ginger family. Lemongrass is fragrant and lends a tangy flavor. They both have amazing benefits!

In fact, I want to say that this soup has contributed to our family being cold-free for some time now.

Here are some of the reasons why:

Health Benefits of Ingredients in this Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Benefits of Galangal

  • Helps relieve stomach discomfort due to inflammation (Source)

  • Promotes Blood Circulation (Source)

  • Helps relieve diarrhea (Source)

  • Helps reduce free radicals (Source)

  • Increases sperm motility (Source)

Benefits of Lemongrass

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Analgesic (Source)

  • Helps body maintain healthy blood sugar levels (Source)

  • Promotes blood circulation (Source)

  • Good source of antioxidants and flavonoids

  • Diuretic properties

  • Gentle detoxifier (Source)

  • Help support body to heal respiratory disorders (Source)

  • Might lower cholesterol (Source)

Let’s get cooking!


  • 3-4 chicken thighs

  • 1000 ml coconut milk (or 4 cups)

  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves

  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass (or 5 grams) (freshly cut)

  • 1-2 inches fresh galangal (or to taste) (cut into thin slices)

  • 1 tablespoon quality fish sauce (or 15 ml) or to taste (I love fish sauce!)

  • 1 large red bell pepper

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • fresh cilantro (for garnish)

  • 1 cup mushrooms (fresh sliced)

  • juice from 1-2 lemons (depending on how tangy you like it)

  • red chili pepper oil (or fresh chili pepper – optional)

  • salt (to taste)


  1. Add the thighs to a stock pot where the water is an inch or so above the thighs.

  2. Bring the stock in the pot to medium heat for about 10 minutes

  3. Add the fresh galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

  4. Then reduce the heat and cook for another 30 minutes.

  5. Add the fish sauce and mushrooms. Add the coconut milk. Cut the large red pepper into strips and add to the soup.

  6. Stir all of the ingredients together.

  7. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

  8. Check the soup for taste. Add salt if needed.

  9. If using thighs on the bone, take the thighs from the soup and remove and shred the meat.

  10. Add the shredded meat back in to the simmering broth.

  11. Add the frozen peas. Stir together.

  12. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and chili oil to taste. This soup is traditionally paired with white rice, but you can opt for something grain-free like cauliflower rice or simply have it on its own.

This recipe is so easy to modify. There are times that I simply dump in our leftover vegetables and add them to the soup with great success! I’ve found eggplant is particularly yummy.


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