Tom Kha Gai
This Whole30 spin on Tom Kha Gai soup is made with a fragrant lemongrass, ginger and chili broth with a creamy coconut milk base. The soup is loaded with chunks of chicken and sliced mushrooms and takes just 30 minutes to make! This delicious spicy, salty and creamy Thai inspired soup is Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Whole30, Keto and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal and can easily be made vegan and vegetarian too!
This time of year I am all about the warm and comforting soups for weeknight dinner. This Whole30 spin on Tom Kha Gai couldn’t be any easier to make, everything cooks in the broth, including the chicken! The coconut milk based broth is loaded with a puree of ginger, lemongrass and chili which gives it so much bold and vibrant flavour. The soup is packed with sliced mushrooms and chunks of chicken which you can swap with shrimp, or tofu to make it vegetarian.
What is Tom Kha Gai
First and foremost please note that this is in no way an authentic recipe for Tom Kha Gai, instead it’s my healthy Whole30 spin on it using ingredients commonly found in most grocery stores. Tom Kha Gai is a Thai soup traditionally made with chilies, lemongrass and galangal and has a creamy coconut milk based broth. For this simpler version of the soup I substituted galangal which can be hard to find with fresh ginger.
Why you are going to love this Tom Kha Gai
- The flavours! The broth has a wonderful combination of creamy, spicy and salty. I can’t emphasize enough just has flavour packed the soup is.
- Quick & easy to make! Start to finish this soup takes just 30 minutes to make, perfect for weeknight dinner.
- No hard to find ingredients: This Whole30 spin on Tom Kha Gai is made with ingredients you will be able to find at most grocery stores. If you can’t find fresh lemongrass, most stores have jarred lemongrass which works well too!
Ways to modify this Tom Kha Gai
- Make it vegetarian or vegan: use vegetable stock in place of chick stock and skip adding chicken to the soup and add extra mushrooms or tofu instead. Skip the fish sauce which adds saltiness to the soup and use coconut aminos instead.
- Not a fan of chicken? Shrimp would be a delicious alternative! Add the raw shrimp to the soup at the same time as the mushrooms and leave them to cook in the simmering liquid for 5 minutes until pink.
- Adjust the spice: Not a fan of spice? Reduce the amount of birds eye chilies you add, or leave them out all together. Alternatively add more if you like your soup to have a real kick.
- Bulk it up: keep this soup Whole30 and Paleo but bulk it up by adding cauliflower rice. For anyone not on a grain free diet you could alternatively add rice or noodles (vermicelli or rice noodles)
What to do with leftovers Tom Kha Gai
Leftover soup will last for up to 4 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container. Alternatively you can freeze the soup for up to 2 months.
Here are a few more soup recipes that you might enjoy:
- Thai Curry Noodle Soup
- Egg Drop Soup
- Tantanmen Ramen
- Whole30 Chicken Ramen
- Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Tom Kha Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)
- 1 stalk lemongrass (or 1 tbsp lemongrass paste)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 inch piece ginger
- 1 small onion
- 2 bird's eye chilies (or 1 Fresno chili pepper)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 (14oz) can full fat coconut milk
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 6 oz mushrooms
- 2 large chicken breasts very thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 1 Fresno chili pepper thinly sliced
- To make the paste, in a high speed blender or NutriBullet container combine the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, onion and chilies and blend into a paste. If your blender is struggling to blend everything smoothly, add a splash of water.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add in the paste and cook for 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant and then pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring too a gentle simmer.
- Once the soup is simmering, add the raw chicken and mushroom to the pot and leave to cook for 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Finally add in the lime juice, lime zest and fish sauce and stir through. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning as desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with slices of chili and chopped cilantro.