Thai Coconut Soup Recipes

Thai coconut soup recipes like Tom Kha Gai can be delicious and easy to make once you acquire the magical ingredients that go into Thai coconut soup recipes. 

Lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal are key ingredients to have on hand when making famous Thai coconut soup recipes.

Exotic Thai ingredients can be hard to find depending on where you live. 

Look for these ingredients in your Asian markets and if you can't find fresh ingredients - look for dried or frozen.

Worst case scenario, you could replace galangal with ginger, replace kaffir lime leaves with lime zest, and replace lemongrass with lemon zest. 

However, your Tom Kha Gai soup will not be authentic without these ingredients! 

Thai Coconut Soup Recipe
- Authentic Tom Kha Gai


  • 6 cups of Fresh Coconut Milk (or watered down organic canned coconut milk)
  • 400 Grams or 2 Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Stalks of Fresh Lemongrass
  • 1 Thumb of Organic Galangal
  • 6 to 10 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 5 to 10 Organic Thai Chilies
  • 2 Organic Limes or 4 Tbsp. of Lime Juice
  • 200 Grams of Organic Oyster Mushrooms (or 2 big handfuls)
  • 2 Small Organic Tomatoes
  • 1 Big White Onion (or 2 small white onions)
  • Small Bunch of Organic Cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt or To Taste


  1. Cut the galangal into slices. 
  2. Slice off bottoms of lemongrass and pull off the outer leaf - then slice diagonally into 1 inch strips.
  3. Add 3 cups of your coconut milk into a medium sized saucepan that's on medium heat.
  4. Then add galangal and lemongrass.
  5. Slice up chicken into medium sized pieces and stir them into the pot just before the coconut milk comes to a boil. 
  6. Now add in the other 3 cups of coconut milk and turn down the heat to medium low.
  7. Next, remove the chili pepper stems and slice them diagonally - add them to the pot and give everything a quick stir.
  8. Stir in the mushrooms and stir for 1 minute (be sure to only stir in one direction to prevent coconut milk from curdling).
  9. Peel onions and cut into thick wedges - add to soup. 
  10. Cut your tomatoes into thick wedges and keep stirring - add to soup when it almost starts to boil. 
  11. Break up the kaffir lime leaves with your hands and toss into the soup. 
  12. Gently stir the coconut soup for a few minutes - make sure it does not come to a rapid boil (lower heat if needed). 
  13. Add in the salt.
  14. When the chicken and mushrooms are fully cooked - turn off the heat. 
  15. Slice up the cilantro and stir into the soup.
  16. Juice your limes in a separate bowl and then stir about 4 Tbsp. into the soup.
  17. Your Tom Kha Gai is now ready to serve.

What is Galangal?

Galangal like ginger is a rhizome which is a type of underground creeping stem that sends out shooters to create new plants.

Galangal is commonly found in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking.  And it plays a big role in flavoring popular Thai coconut soup recipes.

Galangal has a sharp citrusy flavor which borders on being piney.

Thai Coconut Soup Recipe
- Easy Thai Shrimp Soup


  • 1 Cup of Uncooked Organic Basmati Rice
  • 2 Tbsp. of Organic Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Pound of Wild Caught Medium Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • Kosher or Sea Salt to Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Cloves of Organic Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Organic Onion (diced)
  • 1 Tbsp. Freshly Grated Organic Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. of Red Thai Curry Paste
  • 1 (12 oz.) Can Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk
  • 3 Cups of Organic Vegetable Stock
  • Juice of 1 Organic Lime
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Organic Cilantro (chopped)


  1. In a large saucepan add 1 1/2 cups of water and cook the rice according to package instructions - set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat. 
  3. Add in the shrimp, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cook while stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink in color (2 to 3 minutes) - set aside.
  5. Next add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper to the stockpot.
  6. Cook while stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender (3 to 4 minutes).
  7. Stir in the ginger until fragrant (1 minute). 
  8. Then whisk in the red curry paste until well combined (1 minute).
  9. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk and vegetable stock.
  10. Cook while whisking constantly until incorporated (1 to 2 minutes).
  11. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened (8 to 10 minutes).
  12. Stir in the rice, shrimp, lime juice, and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

You could also make a vegetarian red Thai coconut soup by replacing the shrimp with hardy mushrooms.

Thai Coconut Soup Recipe
- Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup

Aromatic Soup Base Ingredients:

  • 14 oz. of Organic Coconut Milk
  • 2 Cups of Filtered Water
  • 6 Slices of Organic Galangal Root
  • 1 Stalk of Chopped Lemongrass
  • Organic Kaffir Lime Leaves (ripped) or Lime Rind
  • Organic Thai Red Chillies to taste
  1. Combine coconut milk and water.  Place on medium heat and bring up to boil. 
  2. Stir in the aromatic ingredients.
  3. Simmer for at least 15 minutes to infuse these flavors into the coconut milk.
  4. Aromatic ingredients are not for consumption - just flavoring.

Seasoning Ingredients:

  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Traditional Organic Soy Sauce (or fish sauce for some vegetarians) to taste
  • Grated Palm Sugar or Organic Brown Sugar to taste
  1. Next stir in these ingredients to add extra flavor to your soup base.
  2. When your satisfied with the flavor of your soup base, move on to the next step.
  3. Add in the extra ingredients.  Then cook soup for a few more minutes.

Extra Ingredients:

  • 1 Cubed Organic Tomato
  • 5 to 6 Sliced Organic Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Block of Cubed Organic Extra Firm Tofu
  • A Few Organic Thai Basil Leaves
  • 5 Small Organic Baby Corn (slice in half)
  • 10 Thinly Sliced Organic Bamboo Shoots
  • 5 Pieces Organic Straw Mushrooms

Last Ingredients:

  • Squeeze of Organic Lime Juice
  • 1 Stalk Organic Green Onions (chopped)
  • Organic Cilantro and Basil Leaves for Garnish
  1. When the ingredients in your soup are cooked until desired doneness - add in the lime juice and green onions.
  2. Turn heat off and ladle into bowls.  Garnish with Cilantro and Basil.

Great Thai coconut soup recipes are made with a Thai curry paste.  For the most flavor and authentic Thai flavor, make your own Thai curry pastes. 

Although, you'll find a variety of Thai curry pastes available in the Asian section of most grocery stores.

Go to Thai Papaya Salads

Return to Asian Food Recipes