Gingered Chicken and Coconut Soup 2.000
Jan 8, 2003

You want to cook Thai but have trouble tracking down the ingredients?

Authentic Thai dtom khaa gai includes coriander root, galangal, coconut cream, bird's eye pepper, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves. So we substituted some more readily available items. The resulting soup is just slightly less rich and soothing than the original.

You may use shrimp or additional mushrooms instead of the chicken.

Servings: 2 - 4
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon palm or brown sugar
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, ends trimmed, stalks bruised
  • 1 shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 to 3 Thai, serrano or jalapeño chile peppers, bruised
  • 10 slices ginger root
  • 1/2 tablespoon shredded or julienned lime zest
  • 3 to 4 ounces chanterelle, oyster or shiitake mushroom caps, torn or sliced
  • 3 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro


In a pan over medium-high heat, bring the stock and coconut milk to a boil. Season with salt and sugar and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the lemon grass, shallot, chili peppers, ginger and lime zest and simmer for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and chicken, and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add lime juice and fish sauce to taste along with the cilantro and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed; the soup should taste rich, salty, sour and hot. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Thai Food" by David Thompson (Ten Speed Press, 2002).

Tested by Renee Schettler.

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