Jess Daniell's Tom Kha Gai soup

Saturday Fresh 03/03/2018

A chicken coconut soup with loads of fragrant Thai seasoning. By poaching the chicken in this silky, aromatic broth, you’re not only building flavour but saving on dishes, too. It’s a super-easy mid-week dinner. Kha translates to galangal root, which can be hard to find in New Zealand, but I’ve substituted ginger for this recipe, and it adds plenty of punch. With the addition of rice noodles, this soup becomes a complete meal.

Tom Kha Gai

serves 4 | to prep 10 minutes | to cook 15 minutes | gf df


800ml chicken stock

1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
8–10 kaffir lime leaves, lightly bruised

1 stalk fresh lemongrass, outer leaves removed and lightly bruised

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

400g skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 x 400ml can coconut cream

150g white button mushrooms, halved

150g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large fresh red chilli, finely sliced

2 tablespoons lime juice

150g rice noodles

handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped lime wedges to serve


Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fish sauce and sugar. Add the chicken and poach for 10–12 minutes until cooked through.

Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Set aside.

Strain the broth, discarding the aromatics, and return it to the pan. Add the coconut cream and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are just tender, 2–3 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, chilli and lime juice, then remove from the heat.

Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions. Divide evenly between four large bowls, and top with shredded chicken.

Spoon the broth into the bowls, making
sure each serve gets some mushrooms and tomatoes, and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with lime wedges.

Variation substitute rice noodles for spiralised zucchini ‘noodles’, if you’re looking for a low-carb paleo option.