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Thai Chicken Galangal and Coconut Soup

All the goodness of bone broth in this easy to make soup which tastes truly beautiful.

May 13, 2016

Thai Chicken Galangal and Coconut Soup

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ingredients for six


1 x free range chicken
60gm of fresh or frozen galangal
400ml coconut milk
4 x coriander plant roots plus 1cm of stalks
12 x black peppercorns, roughly pounded
2 x 20cm stems of lemon grass, bruised
1 x large mild green chilli
1 tsp salt
6 x kaffir lime leaves
2 to 3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp pounded light Thai palm sugar
40ml lime juice

to serve

steamed jasmine rice
lime wedges
sliced red chillis
fresh coriander leaves reserved from plants

tom kha gai


  • Chop chicken into 12 to 14 similar size pieces, Leave bones in for maximum health benefits or remove backbone, wing tips and drumstick knuckles to minimize bones if preferred.
  • Put chicken with galangal slices in large saucepan.
  • Add 200ml coconut milk (reserve remaining coconut milk for later use) and 500ml water. Place well washed and crushed coriander roots, crushed peppercorns, bruised lemon grass, green chilli sliced down the middle (include seeds), salt and lime leaves to saucepan.
  • Slowly bring to a boil over low heat to allow flavours to develop. Simmer covered, for 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken pieces from soup and place in covered bowl. Strain soup through sieve into clean saucepan and press on components in strainer to  remove all flavour.
  • Add reserved half can of coconut milk with palm sugar and chicken to pan, stirring constantly until heated through.
  • Remove soup from heat and add fish sauce and lime juice and taste for seasoning.
  • Serve topped with lime wedges, sliced red chilli and coriander leaves. Serve steamed jasmine rice on the side.

cooks notes

  1. Tom Kah Gai is the Thai name for this soup.
  2. If your butcher is kind, they may prepare chicken for you rather than chopping up at home.
  3. We recommend Chef’s Choice coconut milk as it is consistently high quality and has a great flavour.
  4. Use pestle and mortar to bruise coriander plants and lemongrass and pound peppercorns.
  5. There is no substitute for galangal as its’ flavour is totally unique; refreshing and slightly medicinal in a pleasant way. It can be purchased sliced from the freezer section in Asian supermarkets and is increasingly found fresh at good fruit and vegetable stores.
  6. Hot rice is served as an accompaniment to the soup; eat a spoonful of soup then a spoonful of rice to make this soup more of a meal.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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