Tom Yum Gai ต้มยำไก่ (lemongrass chicken soup)

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Tom Yum Gai

Tom Yum Gai ต้มยำไก่ (lemongrass chicken soup)

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 350 g chicken thigh, 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 heads shallots
  • 34 dried chilies (or substitute fresh chilies)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, cut into 12 inch pieces
  • 56 rounds galangal
  • 56 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2 heads shallots, cut in half vertically
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • 200 grams oyster, straw or beech mushrooms
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halves, or regular tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 23 Tbsp lime juice (how much you need depends on the acidity of your tamarind)
  • ½1 tsp sugar (you may or many not need this)
  • Salt as needed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 34 leaves sawtooth coriander (optional)

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


Bring 4 cups of stock to a boil in a medium pot. 

While the stock is heating, place the dried chilies on a sheet pan and, without preheating, broil them on low in the oven on the top rack. When the chilies puff up and start to darken in colour, remove from heat and add them directly to the stock pot. If you want a spicier soup, break the chilies in half before adding.

Turn the broiler up to high and broil the shallots, cut side up, until the edges are charred, about 3-5 minutes. Add them to the stock pot.

Once the stock boils, add chicken, 2 Tbsp fish sauce, and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is fork tender. Once chicken is tender, add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 3-5 minutes to infuse. Then add  2 Tbsp tamarind juice, sugar, mushrooms and tomatoes; bring the soup back to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbsp lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with the remaining lime juice, fish sauce and/or salt as needed.

Stir in cilantro and sawtooth coriander just before serving.

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