This coconut soup recipe is my version of Tom Kha Kai. I love the unique flavor, and I also love how I can throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker and come home to a comforting meal at the end of the day.
The harmony of flavors in traditional Thai cooking is internationally recognized. Small cuts, or shredded meats are often paired with herbs and spices, and infused in coconut based broths. Lemongrass (with a slight citrus flavor) and galangal (Thai ginger) are fresh herbs commonly used in place of heavy spices.
This Thai chicken coconut soup slow cooker recipe is naturally conducive to a primal lifestyle with its real food ingredients and coconut base. The nourishment factor is through the roof and the taste is loved from our primal kids to any house guests we’ve shared this with.
It can be difficult to find kaffir lime leaves depending on the time of year, where you live, or whether your local store carries them at all. They come from the makrut lime plant and are sometimes referred to simply as “lime leaves.”
If you plan ahead you may be able to find the leaves fresh online (freeze any you don’t use), but you can also use a combination of lime and lemon zest (about 1 tsp lime and 1/2 tsp lemon per kaffir lime leaf) in a pinch. And don’t be afraid to squeeze some of the juice in at the end as well!
While lime leaves and lemongrass contribute slightly different flavors, they both provide a citrusy addition to the dish. If you need a lemongrass substitute for this Thai chicken coconut soup recipe, lemon zest is probably your best bet.
This dish is delicious on its own, but it can also be ladled over basic cauliflower rice, or white or brown rice if this gluten-free grain is part of your diet. You can also pair it with a vegetable side, like Ginger Cashew Bak Choi.Print
- 1 1/4 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4″ rounds
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shitake mushrooms, chopped
- 8 Kaffir lime leaves
- 2” or 2 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/3 oz. or 1/8 cup lemon grass, cut into 1″ diagonal slices
- 3 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
- Lime juice from 1 lime
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 13.5 oz. cans full fat coconut milk
- 3 tsp. red curry paste
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- Fresh cilantro, chopped for topping
- Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: 2 cups cooked white rice
- Place chicken in the bottom of a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker.
- Add onion, carrots, pepper, and mushrooms.
- In a large bowl, mix together lime leaves, ginger, lemon grass, fish sauce, lime juice, chicken broth, coconut milk, curry paste, and chili powder and stir until well combined.
- Pour mixture into the slow cooker and gently mix.
- Set slow cooker on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.
- Remove lime leaves and lemon grass stalks before serving.
- Add a dash of sea salt and/or black pepper to taste, if desired.
- Serve (over 1/2 cup white rice if desired) and top with chopped fresh cilantro.