Thai cuisine has a rich and classic taste in most of its dishes and Tom Kha Kai is one of them. A traditional and tasty Thai soup that is excellent for chill wintry days.
Tom Kha Kai also known as Tom Kha Gai, literally translates to chicken galangal soup. You can find it in most of the Thai restaurants with a characteristic spicy, hot and sour flavor blended in rich coconut milk. It is native to the Lao cuisine and is found commonly in Lao region.
It has a smooth texture with a pleasant taste and is quite easy to make. Tom kha kai incorporates a wide variety of flavours and ingredients that are quintessential to Thai cuisine. What makes it fragrant is the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, Thai chili peppers, coriander (or dill weed), that is cooked in coconut milk with straw mushrooms, chicken, fish sauce, and lime juice.
Packed with nutrition, this silky smooth aromatic soup is a complete meal by itself and is perfect for those weeknight dinners.
You can make a vegetarian version of this soup sans the chicken and fish sauce by substituting it with tofu and soy sauce respectively.
Thai style Tom Kha Kai uses cilantro while the Lao style uses dill leaves. However, both taste good with distinctive flavours.
Here’s how you make Tom Kha Kai in 5 simple steps:
What you need
To make the Tom Kha Kai soup you will need a few pieces of peeled galangal, kaffir lime leaves ( be easy on this, as adding more leaves makes it bitter), if you don’t have kaffir lime leaves you can use lemon zest ( in smaller proportions), Chicken broth, chicken thighs ( boneless), mushrooms (shiitake/oyster/ maitake), coconut milk, fish sauce, fresh lemongrass, Thai chilly peppers and cilantro leaves.
How to make the soup
Garnish it with cilantro, and serve while it’s hot. You can also add more veggies to it but keeping it minimal with mushroom and chicken gives you an authentic taste. If you want a spicier version you are free to add sriracha paste as well.
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