Soups and stews are a great meal choice for cool evening or afternoons when you want something hearty to warm you up. They are also easy to make and packed with nutrients too, making them one of my go-to meal ideas for busy nights.
Healthy Tom Kha Gai Recipe
Thai food is typically pretty healthy to begin with, so I only had to make a couple of adjustments to make traditional Tom Kha Gai up to my healthy ingredient standards.
I chose to use Kettle and Fire’s Curry Lime broth because it’s made with grass-fed meats and organic vegetables. The Curry Lime also gives the soup a great base of flavor (though you can use homemade chicken or veggie broth too).
How Can I Make This Recipe More Authentic?
Thai food has a very specific flavor profile. I’ve made this recipe easy with ingredients you can get at the average grocery store, but if you love Thai food go the extra mile and use these more authentic variations:
- Galangal root – In place of regular ginger, use galangal root or Siamese ginger. This ingredient gives the dish a spicy, zingy flavor. It looks a bit like ginger, though the skin is smoother and paler. The inside comes in a range of colors (white, yellow, and pink). Slice a 2-inch section thinly and add to the pot at the same time you add the broth. Strain out the slices after simmering for 10 minutes and before you add the vegetables. Tip: Order dried galangal slices like these and follow the package instructions to rehydrate before adding to the soup.
- Kaffir lime leaves – In place of lime juice, try Kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir lime is a bumpy fruit different from the kind we use in the U.S. that has very little juice. These leaves have a strong citrus fragrance that is used in many Southeast Asian dishes to cover fishy smells. Crush 10 Kaffir lime leaves in your hand to release the oils and add them when you add the broth. Strain out the leaves after simmering for 10 minutes and before you add the vegetables. I ordered mine here.
Both of these ingredients can also be found at an Asian grocery store near you.
Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
- 1 stalk lemongrass finely minced (or 1 tsp lemongrass paste)
- 2 tsp red curry paste
- 2 cartons Kettle and Fire Coconut Curry and Lime chicken broth or 4 cups homemade chicken broth
- 2 TBSP fish sauce
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced
- 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined or roasted chicken, diced
- 2 TBSP fresh lime juice with more slices to add when serving
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ginger, lemongrass, and curry and stir to heat.
- Add chicken broth, fish sauce and maple syrup and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add lime juice and salt to taste.
Looking for More Asian-Inspired Recipes?
I love the flavors of the Orient, so I spend a lot of time trying to recreate dishes I’ve had in restaurants. Here are some of my favorite healthy variations:
- Thai Chicken Curry – I love making this recipe in place of getting take-out. I get the same amazing flavors for a fraction of the price (and it’s healthier too!).
- Grilled Thai Shrimp Recipe – Shrimp is a healthy and easy protein source for busy weeknights that is also delicious.
- Asian Color Burst Salad – Salads are such an easy and versatile base for any meal. I love this one for the bright colors and tasty dressing.
- Chinese Chicken Stir-Fry – Stir-frys are simple and quick to make, and this one has so much flavor it’s become a family favorite.
- Mandarin Chicken – A healthier version of a take-out favorite, this variation uses almond flour for breading and fresh oranges and honey to sweeten.
- General Tso’s Chicken – I love that this tasty, saucy dish is made with only healthy ingredients.
- Sesame Chicken Recipe – A healthy version of sesame chicken, this recipe uses tapioca starch instead of flour and apple juice instead of sugar.
- 25-Minute Pad Krapow Gai (Thai Basil Chicken) – A delicious fresh variation on stir fry (and not at all too spicy for kids!)
Whenever I get a craving for take-out, I whip up one of these recipes instead.
Have you made Tom Kha Gai soup at home? What’s your favorite recipe?