Something Like Tom Kha Gai


We definitely can’t claim that this is the traditional way to make the famous Thai soup, but we enjoyed the challenge of creating something that tastes pretty close, using the ingredients that were available to us in Japan. This recipe serves 2 with enough for seconds. On a side note, it’s been snowing all day and covering the ground! This is the first time we’ve seen snow like this since moving to Osaka, so we’re thrilled and so is Arius.


2 TBS. canola oil
2 small shallots, chopped
3 dried chillies, thinly sliced (or more if you like)
1 TBS. fresh ginger, minced
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 bullion cube (we used chicken) dissolved into 1 cup hot water (or 1 cup stock)
6 lemon grass leaves (we bought some that were already trimmed, but we sliced them a few times to bring out the flavor)
a handful of button mushrooms, sliced
1 TBS. fish sauce
juice of half a lime, the other half sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 green onions, sliced

  • In a pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot, and chilli and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant and shallot is soft.
  • Add the ginger and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Add the stock, coconut milk, lemon grass, mushrooms, fish sauce, lime juice and a few lime slices, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the chicken pieces, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove lime slices from pot. Divide soup among 2 bowls, garnish with sliced green onion and serve with steamed white rice and extra lime on the side.

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