Tasty Tom Ka Gai Soup (Thermomix Thai Soup)

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)


Tasty Tom Ka Gai Soup (Thermomix Thai Soup)
A classic Thai recipe adapted for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.
Cuisine: Asian
Recipe type: Soups and Salads
  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. Put chicken stock and coconut milk into Thermomix bowl.
  3. Add prepared seasonings to the liquid, with garlic-chili paste.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes at 100°C/212ºF/ REVERSE/speed 2 to begin infusion of flavours. Meanwhile, prepare chicken by cutting into smaller pieces.
  5. Place basket into Thermomix bowl full of liquid.
  6. Add chicken pieces to the bowl.
  7. Cook 10 minutes at 90°C/195ºF on REVERSE speed 2
  8. Add chopped mushrooms.
  9. Again, cook 10 minutes at 90°C/195ºF on REVERSE speed 2
  10. Add lemon juice, coriander/cilantro and serve! (Tastes great by itself or with rice.)
1) Some versions of this recipe call for an additional squirt of bottled Fish Sauce. I do add this when I have it on hand, but have not found it to be a necessary ingredient.

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!


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See 35 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. A Canadian Foodie November 13, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    I have made this soup many times years ago, and have totally forgotten about it. Thank you for reminding me, and adapting it to the Thermomix. I can hardly wait.

  2. Gretchen November 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    My favourite cuisine and absolutely delish!

  3. Rob November 20, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    Great flavour, delicious; kids loved it too. I put the ‘inedibles’ into the basket so they could float about infusing and put the chicken etc. into the bowl with the liquids. At the end simply lifted out the basket and all the ‘inedibles’ disposed of neatly.

  4. ThermomixBlogger Helene November 20, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    Thanks for sharing your successful adaptation with us Rob! I’m happy to hear your kids have such good taste! The method you describe, is one I hadnot tried myself because I feared the chicken and mushroom pieces would be to ‘crowded’ under the basket and with blades moving in reverse, things might get a bit mushy. If your method allows enough room for the chicken to cook happily below the basket, then GREAT – we have an adaptation that works.

    I look forward to trying it your way next time Rob. Cheers!

  5. Kitty December 13, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    what a great video….makes it look so simple, that I think I may just try it. but I don’t have a Thermomix, so I will have to do it the old fashioned way, with many pots, and dishes.

    I’ll be back to check for more receipts. thanks for the great blog.

  6. Lynne May 4, 2010 at 4:03 am #

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I just made it, but was I missing some ingredients, so just used galangal, large chopped clove of garlic, whole fresh chilli chopped and lemongrass in the bottom. The result was still delicious. Am now trying to think how to convert Tom Yum using the same method.
    Thanks again!

  7. ThermomixBlogger Helene May 4, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    Great Lynne — I’m sure your success with this recipe will tempt other Thermomix fans to try it too!

  8. Mara May 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    I followed yours to the letter and, for serving, divided chicken and mushrooms among bowls and used the basket to “strain” the soup over them.

  9. ThermomixBlogger Helene May 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Great idea Mara, glad to hear it worked for you. Hope you liked the flavour too ;)

  10. Mara May 18, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Flavour was great, thank you very much. Have done with prawn, too, just adding them with the mushrooms.

  11. Yummy88 May 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    This is the first recipe I have tried using my new thermomix. I am very much a novice, and it worked perfectly. Will be doing it again and adding more veg. Cheers for this!

  12. ThermomixBlogger Helene May 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    Well done Yummy88 — give yourself a pat on the back! What a way to launch yourself into the world of Thermomix. I’m SO glad you had success and that you are having fun with the world’s best-loved kitchen machine ;-) Do please report back about your veggie version when done.
    Cheers to YOU,

  13. Rheece May 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Just tried this recipe and it’s perfect.. I did add half the required amnt of coconut milk.. For the health conscious and it came out fine :) thanks for sharing this recipe…

  14. ThermomixBlogger Helene May 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Thanks for your feedback Rheece. This is good to know because I have often wanted to try using half the coconut milk but at the last minute I always cave and add it all. Everyone always asks for this soup at my house and I’m nervous to alter it in any way for fear of outcry ;-)

  15. Mara November 21, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Making this again for dinner tonight. My “spin” will be to use prawns and mussels instead of the chicken thighs (don’t have any). So, there’s my “dinner spinner” of the day!

  16. ThermomixBlogger Helene November 22, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    Oh yum — I love this idea — must try it myself :)

  17. Mara November 24, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    I know you may be sceptic, but I’m having this for dinner again tonight. No spinning the dinner this time, just good old chicken thighs. I’m really addicted to this and umami paste. I could live solely on those two and pasta.

  18. ThermomixBlogger Helene November 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    So glad you enjoy it Mara. Understandably so — this is a very addictive soup. I can say that from experience… interesting unconventional flavours that work like magic together.

  19. Thermomix User May 2, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I just wanted to know if you can halve this recipe and if you need to adjust the time accordingly?

  20. ThermomixBlogger Helene May 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    First off, I wouldn’t recommend halving this recipe as it’s just too yummy and half will not be enough for much. Even if you are alone, you can eat the full recipe over a few days, as it gets better when stored overnight. But if needed, you could try halving it, but keep the times the same. The main difference will be that when using half the liquid, it will not cook the chicken in the same way, as the liquid will not reach up as high in the bowl to reach the chicken in the basket. It should still work, but you will need the full time to cook that chicken. I would even do this: in the cooking step just prior to adding mushrooms, where it says “Cook 10 minutes at 90° C on REVERSE speed 2”, I would do this at speed 3 instead. This will force the water up a little higher in the bowl to help cook those chicken pieces sitting in the basket. — Hope this helps ;-)

  21. Steffi August 8, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    This is one of the best Tom Ka Gai soups I have ever had. Thanks so much for the Thermomix-Version !
    Love, Steffi from Germany

  22. ThermomixBlogger Helene August 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Thanks for your lovely feedback Steffi. I can tell you have fallen under the spell of this soup… just as I have. This is the soup I make the most often for friends and family. EVERYBODY loves it so much! Happy mixing :)

  23. Sarah September 1, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    Helene, I love this recipe and everyone I make it for loves it too!! It’s our new family favourite, I have to travel 1 hr for galangal but its worth it!! Oh, I even made my own coconut milk!! Yeah, loving my thermie!

  24. ThermomixBlogger Helene September 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Great to hear of your success with this recipe and with the coconut milk Sarah. Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment when I’m sure you’d rather be cooking with Thermie ;-)

  25. Mara September 20, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    And this soup is another reason to be reminded of you quite often! This is one of my favourite recipes ever! Couldn’t count the number of times I’ve made it already (using homemade coconut milk, of course)

  26. Gia April 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi! I made this last night … it was YUM!! BUT 1. I could not do it on reverse as it was making a terrible sound – when I removed the soup, I saw the galangal had caught onto the end of the blade … Do you cut your pieces very small so this doesn’t happen and you can do it on reverse? (I saw in your video that the pieces were not that small) 2. There was A LOT of liquid and the coconut milk was watered down … Can I reduce the 1000g stock? (My bowl was filled with liquid to the top once the rice bowl was in) … THANK YOU!!!

  27. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Hi Gia — So glad you tried the soup and sorry about your Galangal getting stuck. This has never happened to me but yes, I prepare my Galangal by slicing it quite thinly and I will add that instruction to the recipe now. (Please do note that if you ever hear an odd sound you should stop and check things out before proceeding.) Next time I make the recipe I will be better able to answer your question about the quantity of liquid. Hope this helps :)


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