Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
5/5 - (1 vote)

This tom kha gai (Thai coconut chicken soup) recipe is really delicious. This Thai coconut chicken soup recipe is full but light, acidic, and salty, and just exploding with flavor.

I’ve never made or tried a better tom kha gai recipe. There are also Whole30, paleo, and vegan choices.

Two black bowls of the greatest tom kha gai Thai chicken coconut soup in a coconut broth, with limes, lemongrass, chilies, cilantro, and chicken.

So, here’s the deal: this tom kha gai (Thai coconut chicken soup) is very delicious. The chicken is tender, the mushrooms are hearty, and the fresh cilantro lends the ideal herbaceous edge, and I can’t get enough of this soup.

Because this recipe is so good, I don’t think you’ll ever need another Whole30 Thai coconut chicken soup recipe, or even a regular non Whole30 Thai coconut chicken soup recipe.

Why is this one of the most delicious soup recipes ever?

Tom Kha Gai
Food: Tom Kha Gai (taste)

This Thai tom kha gai coconut chicken soup dish has a hidden ingredient that adds savoriness and elevates it to new heights. It’s creamy, sweet, salty, spicy, and brilliant all at the same time.

This tom kha soup recipe is simple to prepare and does not call for any unusual ingredients. A classic Western grocery store should have everything you need.

I’ve included Whole30 and vegan variations so you can enjoy this tom kha soup all year long, even if you don’t eat animal products or avoid added sweeteners.

Cheryl’s Message: Years ago, we mislabeled some of the components in this recipe as “strange,” a term we incorrectly applied to harder-to-find products that are foreign to the average American reader.

However, by adopting this phrase, we unwittingly contributed to the perception that these components are “abnormal.” That was never our intention, but our influence was, and that’s what counts.

Is it possible to make this soup vegan?

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Food: hai Coconut Chicken Soup (love & olive oil)

To prepare this vegan tom kha soup, follow these steps:

  • Instead of chicken broth, use veggie broth.
  • Soy sauce can be used instead of fish sauce.
  • Instead of chicken, use a 1-pound block of tofu, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
  • If you don’t utilize chicken, it won’t be called “tom kha gai.” You can call it “tom kha tofu” if you want.
15-minute prep time
45 minutes to prepare
1 hour total

This tom kha soup (Thai coconut soup) is incredible. This Thai soup is filling but light and brimming with flavor, rich and creamy yet acidic and salty.

This is the best recipe I’ve ever tried or prepared. There are Whole30, paleo, and vegan alternatives available.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 12 onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 12 red jalapeno pepper slices, or a couple of Thai chiles, halved
  • 3 14-inch slices of galangal or ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushroom caps
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce plus more to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 thinly sliced green onions fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Heat the coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes, or until onions are softened, adding the onion, garlic, jalapeño or chile, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, and red curry paste. Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  • Aromatics should be sautéed before adding chicken stock and simmering.
  • Remove and discard the aromatics (garlic, onions, lemongrass, and ginger). Add the mushrooms, coconut cream or milk, and chicken breast (or tofu or shrimp). Simmer until the chicken breasts are just cooked through, then season with fish sauce, coconut aminos (or coconut sugar), and lime juice, as needed.
  • Cook the chicken, mushrooms, and coconut milk together.
    Cook for 2 minutes, then spoon into serving dishes and garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced green onions.
  • Pour into serving dishes and top with garnishes.
Tom Kha Gai, Thai Soup
Food: Tom Kha Gai, Thai Soup (the roasted roots)


Use coconut cream or coconut milk if possible. Coconut cream/coconut milk is not the same as coco lopez or coconut creamer, hence they will not work in this recipe.

To use shrimp instead of chicken, simply whisk in 1 pound of uncooked shrimp. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, pink, and transparent.

Make it Whole30: Use tender chicken broth. Instead of coconut sugar, use 2 tablespoons coconut aminos. Use Red Boat fish sauce, which is the only compliant fish sauce I’ve discovered.

Vegan/Vegetarianize it: Use vegetable stock, preferably one from Asia. 1 pound firm or extra firm tofu (regular or silken) cubes Use soy sauce (to taste) instead of fish sauce for a vegan option.

Information on nutrition

1 person serving 682 kcal, 18 g carbohydrates, 27 g protein, 60 g fat, 52 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g trans fat Vitamin A: 374IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 5mg, Net Carbs: 13g Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 1266mg, Potassium: 1125mg, Fiber: 5g, Vitamin A: 374IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 5mg