This Thai coconut milk soup is incredibly comforting yet bright and summery all at the same time! For more from me, Chef EvaBee, you can visit my website here.
This is also a one-pot meal, except if you want a little rice on the side.
It is a very adaptable recipe. You can use different proteins or vegetables in it, just make sure that the ratios are the same.
The Ingredients For Coconut Milk Soup
The flavoring of the broth is integral to get this recipe to taste authentic. I tried to choose common ingredients available in North America but I’ll include some substitutions below.
- fresh ginger or, more traditionally, galangal
- lime leaves or all of the zest from 2 limes
- dried lemongrass or 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass
- chicken broth
- chicken thigh (or a combination of chicken and shrimp would be wonderful)
- coconut milk
- rice vinegar or fish sauce
- brown sugar
- lime juice, hot chilies, and rice for serving
- salt or soy sauce to taste
Flavouring the Broth
Initially, you’ll want to simmer the fresh ginger, lime leaves, and lemongrass. To keep things easy, simmer the lemongrass and lime leaves in a small tea bag or piece of cheesecloth. This needs to simmer for 10 minutes to infuse as much flavour as possible. Meanwhile, start cooking some rice on the stove or rice cooker.
Cooking the Chicken and Vegetables
You’ll then want to add the chopped chicken to poach in the broth first and cook fully for about 10 minutes before you add the vegetables. I find the broccoli and mushrooms don’t take as much time, so I like to add them after the chicken is cooked so they hold their fresh flavour.
Finishing the Coconut Milk Soup
Once the chicken and vegetables have cooked, stir in the coconut milk, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and cilantro. At this point, you can set it aside and reheat it later throughout the week or continue to cook it until just simmering. Adjust for seasoning here with some salt and lime juice if desired. Don’t forget the chilies and rice when serving!
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Tom Kha - Thai Coconut Milk Chicken Soup
- Pot for soup
- Rice cooker for rice
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger or galangal cut in half length-wise
- 4 lime leaves or zest of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp dried lemongrass or 3 stalks lemongrass, bruised with the back of a knife cut into 4" chunks
- 1 L chicken broth
- 1300 grams chicken thighs cut into 1" chunks
- 220 grams mushrooms sliced
- 1 head broccoli cut into 1" florets
- 1 400 ml can coconut cream
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar or fish sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dried cilantro or 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 limes juiced
- dried chili flakes for serving
- 1 cup long grain rice
- Put lime leaves and lemongrass in a small tea bag and tie the top. Put that and the ginger into a large pot. Pour over chicken broth.
- Bring up to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start your rice in a rice cooker. Rinse rice, put in the rice cooker, and top with 1 cup of water and 1/4 tsp salt.
- Put in chicken pieces and bring back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Put in vegetables and stir. Bring back up to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes or until broccoli is bright green.
- Stir in coconut milk, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and cilantro. Bring up to a simmer and taste for seasoning. Take off the heat and stir in salt (or soy sauce) and as much lime juice as you'd like to brighten the flavour.
- Serve in bowls and add a small amount of rice. Top with dried chilis if desired.
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