Tom Kha Gai


in ,


  • lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed
  • 3c low-sodium chicken broth, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/4c fish sauce
  • tbs sugar
  • 1 ginger, fresh (2-inch) piece – peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 limeszest and juice
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 Thai chiles (sub Serrano peppers)
  • 4oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk – (13.5 ounces)
  • 1 carrot, large-finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, red
  • 3tbs lime juice – fresh
  • 1/4c cilantrofresh & chopped plus more for garnish
  • 2tbs Thai basil, chopped, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Chili oil sauce, for serving
  • 6 Chicken thighs, cut into strips (optional)


  1. On a cutting board, using the side of a chef’s knife, lightly smash lemongrass. In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine lemongrass, broth, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, lime zest, shallot, chiles, red bell pepper, chicken (optional), and mushrooms. Cover and cook on high until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add coconut milk and carrot, and cook on high 30 minutes longer (or on low for 1 hour). Stir in lime juice, cilantro, basil, and scallion. Top with cilantro and basil, and serve with chili oil sauce.
  3. Tip: Chili oil sauce—a mixture of ground dried chiles, soybean oil, garlic, and sesame oil—is sold in Asian markets and even many supermarkets. It can be used in any recipe that calls for red-pepper flakes.


Serves: 6 
Prep time: 15 min 
Cook time: 1 hrs