Thai Tom Kha Gai Soup

by Mark Broadbent

May 13th 2020


Master Stock:

  • 275ml soy sauce
  • 150ml sake or rice wine vinegar
  • 150ml mirin
  • 3 star anise
  • Half a tsp of coriander seeds
  • 30g ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 small pieces of dried tangerine peel
  • Small handful of coriander stalks
  • Outer leaf of lemongrass, bruised
  • 600ml water

Tom Kha Paste:

  • 5cm/2in piece¬†ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic loves, peeled
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
  • small bunch fresh coriander, leaves chopped, roots reserved
  • 1-2 shallots peeled, quartered
  • 1 medium green chilli, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh or 6 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 limes, zest only

Tom Kha Gai Soup:

  • Glug of olive oil
  • 750ml chicken stock (1 bouillon cubes)
  • 250ml master stock
  • 400ml / tin of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 chicken breast
  • Handful button mushrooms
  • 1-2 oyster mushrooms
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 pea aubergines
  • 2-3 bok choi hearts
  • Small handful spinach
  • Small handful Thai basil leaves
  • Small handful coriander leaves
  • 1 small green chilli, sliced
  • 1-2 limes, juice only, plus more to serve
  • Olive oil, to serve
  • Toasted sesame oil, to serve



  • Roughly chop the master stock vegetables.
  • Measure the soy, sake, mirin and water out into a large saucepan.
  • Peel and roughly chop the ginger, garlic and shallots for the paste.
  • Bruise the lemongrass stalk with a rolling pin.
  • Roughly chop the medium green chilli and coriander leaves.
  • Zest and juice 2 limes.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes.
  • Cut the pea aubergines in half length ways and then cut into finer wedges.
  • Finely slice the small green chilli.
  • Tear the oyster mushrooms into smaller pieces.
  • Blanche the choi hearts in salted boiling water for a few seconds then plunge into iced water, reserve.
  • Finely slice the chicken breast as thin as possible.
  • Mix a tsp or olive oil with half a tsp of toasted sesame oil, ready to garnish at the end.



Master stock:

  • Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Sieve and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tom Kha Gai Soup:

  • For the paste, blend the paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  • For the soup, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the paste over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and fish sauce.
  • Add the chicken stock and master stock and reduce for a few minutes.
  • Sieve the stock until it’s clear.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and allow them to cook in the broth for 2 minutes.
  • Add the aubergine, mushrooms, spinach, tomato halves and continue to cook for a further minute.
  • Drop the choi hearts in just before serving.
  • To serve, add the lime juice to the soup and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Garnish with thai basil leaves, coriander leaves and sliced chilli.
  • Squeeze over a little more lime juice to taste and finish with the olive oil and toasted sesame oil mixture.



  • Cooking pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Liquidiser
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Ladle
  • Serving vessel
  • Bowls
  • Pepper mill
  • Tea towel

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