“Do You Talk Thai?” Tom Kha Gai – Chicken in Coconut Soup




I’ve been a long time fan of Thai-style Coconut Soup. We used to serve one at The Kincaid Grill back in 2005 where we’d infuse Mae Ploy Coconut Milk with 9 other ingredients. Then, we’d strain it off and serve it with steamed shrimp won tons, bright green basil oil and bright red chili oil.

While that was my first exposure to this soup, my most recent Culinary Adventure to Thailand left me with today’s recipe. I am not able to find all of the authentic ingredients we used there, but this soup turned out great with the substitutes I found. I don’t recommend this as a main course, but it is a fun starter and can be beefed up with the addition of rice or veggies.

This is the first video in the “Do You Talk Thai?” series and I’m super pumped about the upcoming dishes in this series. I installed a “Garage Wok” and I now cook all of my stir fry’s in said wok. It is a practical way to cook that is super quick and yields tasty results every time. I recommend purchasing a wok so that you can follow this series with similar results.

A quick shout out to Chris Holloman of Katipo Creative, who shot the above photo. He is an amazing photographer who worked with us on the recent shoot. He kept things light on set with his famous line, “Aaaannnnd…. we’re back!”

Alright, guys. Let’s make this a great week. I’ll do whatever I can to help you stay on track with your nutrition goals. So, come along with me as I help you…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(A boy and his wok…)

Tom Kha Gai – Chicken in Coconut Soup

Ingredient List:

  • 1 19oz. can Mae Ploy Coconut Cream (or any brand of whole coconut milk)
  • 1 15oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 3 cups Crimini mushrooms (or other variety), quartered
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 6 slices fresh ginger, peeled
  • 10 slices bottom portion of lemongrass, cut on a bias
  • 3 Thai chiles, halved and half of the seeds removed (more or less depending on heat tolerance)
  • 3 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed, torn into pieces
  • 1 handful cilantro, half chopped and half for garnish
  • 1 bunch scallions, Asian Bias Cut (for garnish)

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss/mix with tongs until uniformly blended and tasty delicious looking.

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (14)

One pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced cooks down to 12oz.   Since 1oz equals 1 block, therefore we have 12 blocks of protein. There is 32g of Protein in 1 block.  1 table spoon weighs about 18.8g, therefore, 3 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce equals 2 protein blocks.

Carbohydrates: (3.5)

We have about 1 block of Carbs from the 3 cups of Crimini mushrooms (or other variety). Approximately 1 shallot equals 1 block of carbohydrate. We have a generous Carb block coming from the 3 Thai chiles. We need 1/3 of a cup to get one block of carbs from lime juice, so we will only count the juice from 1 lime as a ½ block.

Fats: (60)

We are going to use 1 19oz. can of Mae Ploy Coconut Cream (or any brand of whole coconut milk).  There are 16 tablespoons in 1 cup, along with 8oz equaling one cup, so two table spoons equal 1 oz.  Approximately 1 table spoon equals 1 block, therefore we have about 2.4 cups of coconut milk, which equals 38 blocks of Fat

This second addition of Coconut milk calls for light milk, so that takes it down to about 3 blocks per ¼ cup vs. 4 blocks like whole milk.  We are using 1 15oz. can light coconut milk, which is just under 2 cups, therefore we have about 22 blocks of fat.

Balancing Act:

Overall we have a meal that is heavy in the Fat blocks, and very light in the Carb blocks.  This is the perfect appetizer if you want to pair it with something that doesn’t include much fat, or you can add some cauliflower rice or some other carbs to bring the carb count up.


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