Traditional Tom Ka Gai soup is a classic Thai recipe popular for its creamy texture and exquisite balance of full-bodied seasonings. It tastes unlike anything else, and everyone who tries it, loves it. It is the most heart-warming of all chicken soups.
Usually, we must take time to eat Tom Ka Gai soup, carefully using fingers to filter through inedible bits of leaves, lemon grass and pepper pods while searching the bowl for tender chunks of chicken and mushrooms. My teen-aged children are crazy for this soup, but are always begging for a more efficient way of eating it… they are hedonists in the making and do not enjoy being distracted from exquisite flavours by the task of picking out the inedible ‘flavour makers’.
In the role of “mother trying to please her brood” I tried using a bouquet garni approach, but the result was less than satisfying. The seasonings are integral, and must swim freely in the soup to infuse properly. Since owning the super kitchen machine, I have tried this recipe several times, always searching for a better way.
Good things take time. Here finally, is tasty Tom Ka Gai soup, for Thermomix!
Tom Ka Gai Soup (classic Thai recipe adapted for Thermomix)
- 1000 g. (35.3 oz) chicken broth (home-made is best, but store-bought will do)
- If you don't have enough stock on hand, just make up the difference with water.
- 400 g. (14 oz) coconut milk
- 4 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless is my preference)
- 4-5 mushrooms
- 1 piece lemon grass
- 1 thumb-sized piece Galanga/Galangal, thinly sliced
- small handful dried peppers
- small handful Kefir lime leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic-chili paste
- 1 lime (use lemon or bottled lime juice if fresh lime is not available to you)
- handful cilantro (fresh coriander)
- Cut and crush seasonings (slice lemon grass and Galanga, crush peppers and lime leaves) as seen in video, to break up fibers and release flavours.
- Put chicken stock and coconut milk into Thermomix bowl.
- Add prepared seasonings to the liquid, with garlic-chili paste.
- Cook for 5 minutes at 100°C/212ºF/ REVERSE/speed 2 to begin infusion of flavours. Meanwhile, prepare chicken by cutting into smaller pieces.
- Place basket into Thermomix bowl full of liquid.
- Add chicken pieces to the bowl.
- Cook 10 minutes at 90°C/195ºF on REVERSE speed 2
- Add chopped mushrooms.
- Again, cook 10 minutes at 90°C/195ºF on REVERSE speed 2
- Add lemon juice, coriander/cilantro and serve! (Tastes great by itself or with rice.)
2) Galanga is sometimes referred to as Galangal and is related to ginger in appearance. Don't be fooled -- the flavor difference is striking and you can not make authentic Tom Ka Gai soup without Galanga. Aim for using fresh Galanga whenever possible and if not, check your Asian market for frozen product. Dried and powdered options are more readily available, though I question the integrity of the resulting soup when using these. (I've not yet tried using dry Galanga.)
4) Beware the addictive quality of this soup! If you're not making it yourself at home, it can become a costly habit that develops a strong bond with your local Thai restaurant. Before making it at home, we were spending upwards of $9 for a 500 ml. container of this soup. Now we make at least three times the quantity for the same price!