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Advanced Thai Class

Tom Kha Gai (Chicken, Galangal & Coconut milk soup)


1 LBS                      Chicken breast, cut into bite size

2 Cans                   Coconut milk (I prefer the organic coconut milk as they don’t have a lot of additives)

1 Pint                     White mushrooms or oyster mushrooms (please don’t use Shitake as it is too powerful for the dish)

1 stalk                   Lemongrass

1 chunk                                Galangal (this is the “Kha” in Thai)

2 leave                  Kaffir lime leaves

2 bulbs                  Pickled garlic (optional but it gives so much flavor, you will see what I mean)

1                              Shallot (pounded)

2-3                          Limes (juice)

1 TBSP                   Cilantro (to garnish)

1 tsp.                     Sugar (if you don’t use the pickled garlic)

1 TBSP                   Fish sauce (this is really up to you if you are going to use less or more)


          Heat coconut milk in heavy pan or pot, and all herbs (lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, pickle garlic & shallot) cover & bring to a boil. I tend to use medium heat since I don’t want the coconut milk to separate and retain the flavor of the herbs within the pot.

          Add chicken, bring to a boil

          Add mushroom, bring to a boil

          Turn off the stove

          Season the soup with lime juice, fish sauce and sugar if you don’t use the pickled garlic.

          Garnish with cilantro

I sometime crush some fresh red chilies and sprinkle on top; it just gives so much more depth into the soup.



Chicken Stir fried with curry paste ( Gai Pad Prik Gang)

Serve 3-4

Red Curry Paste

3-5 dried long red chillies

2-3 dried bird eye chillies or red chillies

2-3 fresh red chillies

Good pinch of salt

½ TBSP Galangal

1 TBSP lemongrass

½ Tsp chopped kaffir lime leaves

½ Tsp cleaned and chopped coriander root or stem part

2 TBSP chopped shallots

2 TBSP chopped garlic

3-4 TBSP vegetable oil

½ LB Thinly sliced chicken breast

10 Green Bean, cut 1 inch long

1-2 TBS fish sauce

1 Tsp palm sugar

¼ cup water

2 TBSP Julienned ginger

2-3 kaffir lime leaves, torned

2 long green or red chilies to garnish

¼ cup Thai basil

This dish is found throughout Thailand since the paste is very versatile. But a lot of cooks or restaurants will use the store find red curry paste, I guarantee you that the flavor you will get from here is a whole lot more sharp and honed at the same time.


To make curry paste:

Nip off the stalks of the dried long red chilies, then cut along their length and scrape out the seeds. Soak the chilies in water for about 15 minutes until soft, then drain and rough chop them. Rinse the dried bird’s eyes chilies, if using to remove any dust. In the food processor (traditionally we use mortar and pestle, but I am the child of the new world so food processor it is), add all ingredients above for red curry paste, blend until smooth.

Heat oil in wok or heavy pan, add the paste and fry over medium heat (good luck with the electric stove, lol!) until fragrant – about a minute. Add chicken, stir until cook but not too dry.

Add in fish sauce, palm sugar, water, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and sliced chilies.

This dish should taste rich, hot, salty and slightly oily, finish with Thai basil, served with steamed rice.