Must Try Recipe: Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)

Tom Kha Gai: this tasty Thai soup is quite possibly my favorite soup of all time.  A friend introduced me to it last summer during my first Thai dining experience.  Coconut, lime, and cilantro – I was a little hesitant to try this flavor combo initially but it was love at first slurp. Don’t be afraid to try this. I promise you’ll thank me later. And it’s Paleo-friendly! This recipe came from the Paleo Comfort Food cookbook.  I made a pot tonight for dinner and both myself and my beau (who is an actual chef) couldn’t believe how amazing it was.


Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)

– 3 cups chicken stock (if you are going Paleo, read the ingredient list to make sure there are not a bunch of additives, and no gluten.)
– 4 or so kaffir lime leaves, torn (Note: If you don’t want to buy kaffir leaves or can’t find them, you can use lime zest as a substitute. I did. I zested half a lime and skipped the kaffir lime leaves.)
– 4 or so 2-inch pieces of lemongrass, bruised to help release the flavor (Also skipped this because I overlooked it when I was writing my grocery list. I didn’t miss it and it did not affect the overall deliciousness of the soup.)
– 2-3 big hunks of peeled ginger
– 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
– 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
– Thai chili peppers, thinly chopped, to taste (these things are hot – so they’re an optional ingredient.  My local grocery store didn’t carry them so I wound up just throwing some red chili flakes in the pot instead.)
– 1 cup of mushrooms (Not gonna lie – I threw in an entire package of sliced mushrooms.)
– 2 cans good quality coconut milk (the full-fat kind)
– 2 pounds chicken breast meat, thinly sliced (I only used two small chicken breasts, thinly sliced. It was PLENTY. I have no idea why they want you to use 2 lbs. of chicken breasts.)
– 2-3 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro (I’d be lying if I said I actually measured this… I just plucked off a handful of cilantro leaves and thew them in the pot.)

Bring all the ingredients through the chili peppers (if using) to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it go for about an hour or so to really get those flavors melding. Add in the mushrooms and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer. Add in the chicken and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Finish off with some cilantro and extra chili peppers (if you want) and enjoy!

(PS. If you’d rather not use chicken, you can use shrimp instead.)

I paired the soup with a nice salad and some baked chicken wings.  They were supposed to be baked skinless chicken wings, however, I had a hard time pulling the skin off of the wings.  So I gave up. (Shrug.)  I tossed the baked wings in some Frank’s Red Hot – which is probably not Paleo friendly but I’m not going to beat myself up over it.  It’s zero additional calories.


Another delicious meal on the books for the Paleo diet.  Next up: Pot Roast and Cauliflower Mash!  Who’s got two thumbs and is really excited about that? This girl. 🙂 TTFN.

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