Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai is my favorite soup on the menu of our local Thai restaurant. They serve it in one of those aluminum chimneys. It's usually the only thinkg I get.

Anyway I've been meaning to replicate it for a couple of years but never got around to it. I looked a lot of different recipes and took notes from each one but settled on measurements from THIS recipe on the Food Tastes Good blog.

I added a can of straw mushrooms, rinsed very well, and skipped the red bell pepper, salt and red pepper flakes. I made my own nam prik pao(Thai roasted red chili paste but I used a recipe from my Hot Sour Salty Sweet cookbook which doesn't call for palm sugar. My block of palm sugar was harder than cement and I would have needed a jackhammer to break it apart so I used brown sugar.

The end result was very close to what I get at the restaurant. The heat was just right for me. Gradual and flavorful.

I took the leftovers to work served over jasmin rice and it held up very well. I'm definitely making it again next week.


Laura said...

I wish I liked Thai soups but I have never really gotten them despite my total obsession with Thai food otherwise. But I wanted to mention I almost always nuke my palm sugar for a few moments before using (and always buy either the discs or the glass jars, never the plastic, as a result).

Nancy Joy said...

Mmmm - this looks delicious; I can practically smell it. The recipe looks a little more complex than what I'd normally tackle, but probably worth the effort.

KristiB said...

Laura-I use the palm sugar disks too but it's so dry here my disk was beyond hope.

Nancy-it wasn't that labor intensive. With Asian cooking I spend most of my time getting my mis-en-place together. Most dishes only take a few minutes to put together after that.

Nancy Joy said...

I think I will give yours a try.

Here is the only Thai soup I've made before. I halved the coconut milk; otherwise it overwhelms the other flavors. It' may be an American version of a Thai soup...but it's delicious!

(Sorry I can't find a way to shorten the link!)

Nancy Joy said...

Eesh. Or go to and search Thai Shrimp and Chicken Soup.

KristiB said...

Yeah that soup is Americanized. It looks good though.

I use regular unsweetened coconut milk and have never noticed an overwhelming flavor.