Tom Khai Gai (Gluten Free) – Soup That Provides Flavor & Sustenance

The Viking's Tom Khai Gai

I would like to say that January is my favorite month but once the excitement of the new year has worn off it’s not because typically it’s a cold dreary month and as a gardener it’s that time of year when my husband and I are in waiting mode for the days to get warmer and sunny!  I have to say it’s a month where I try to de-clutter and make as much soup as possible.  Somehow it is very fitting after a month of decadence, dinners out and many appetizers and cookies with family and friends!

One of my favorite soup recipe’s that is tried and true and I rely on to always cheer me up on the coldest dreariest day in the winter is the one I have for Tom Kha Gai it is traditionally a Thai soup made with chicken stock and coconut milk but the version I make is fairly healthy it would be healthier if I didn’t add butter but you know me I’m not going to give up butter completely but I don’t think it’s out of control in this recipe.

If anything you may thing I am soup obsessed this month but I think soup is lighter for the most part than the traditional meat and potato meal and my body certainly needs lighter meals this month.   I also like the idea that I can make a couple of pots of soup over the weekend that we can eat off of all week!

I used to add Red Chili Pepper jam to this recipe but I found most of the commercial products have gluten in them and I am trying to keep this recipe gluten-free and I noted in my research of the origins of this soup that it is dairy free as well if you do not add butter.  If you find a product that is gluten-free feel free to include it.  If you feel you need to sweeten this soup up at all just add a tsp. of honey to it.  It’s amazing the slight hint of sweetness it will add.

My husband absolutely loves this soup recipe so I named it in honor of him; he loves it when I make this soup!

green onions, cilantro, and lime

The Viking’s Tom Kha Gai



  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cans of chicken broth or about 4 cups of homemade chicken broth
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • one lime squeezed
  • small container of fresh Portobello mushrooms (at least 12 chopped up)
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger grated or 1 tsp. ginger from the pantry (this requires tasting)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric (this is what gives the soup its beautiful color!)
  • 1/3 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • red pepper flakes (to your own taste)
  • salt, pepper, and lemon grass to season (to your own taste)
  • Tabasco sauce or Thombasco sauce (or friend makes us homemade Tabasco sauce that is amazing)

seasonings for tom khai gai


Instructions For Soup:

  • Cook chicken breasts with just salt and pepper in some olive oil in a cast iron skillet.
  • Remove chicken breasts and place aside.
  • In the chicken juices left in pan add about 2 tablespoons butter and cook onions and chopped up mushrooms in the pan.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice from one lime.
  • Cook until mushroom and onions are translucent and then they are done.
  • Place stock pot on stove and put 2 TBSP. butter in the bottom.
  • Chop chicken up into chunks and place onions and mushrooms in the pot and give it all a stir.
  • Next stir chicken broth and coconut milk (I use the light coconut milk) into the pot.
  • Add in ginger, salt, pepper, and lemon grass to taste. (Fresh lemon grass is better but I have some in the pantry….)
  • Add the tabasco sauce if you like some spice!  I know I do!
  • Simmer on top of stove for about an hour so all of the flavors meld together.
  • About 10 minutes before serving add the cilantro chopped up and chopped green onions. (If you are not a big fan of onions you can leave out the green onions since you already have onions in the recipe).

Serve with Dumplings such as these…..

The perfect warming winter meal that is in my opinion comfort food but lighter and yet still provides sustenance for the long work days ahead this month!

Wishing you all sunny days and warm blankets to wrap up in!


Karen Lynn


Other Soup Posts You Might Like:

Canadian Budget Binder – Roasted Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup

The Mind To Homestead – Easy Homemade Chicken Soup From Your Home Canned Foods

Mom Prepares – Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup

12 thoughts on “Tom Khai Gai (Gluten Free) – Soup That Provides Flavor & Sustenance

    1. This is definitely a fave Mr.CBB and it’s one of those it’s really hard to mess it up…meaning it’s up to you to keep tweaking it until you find that balance between chicken stock, coconut flavor, ginger, and heat that suits your household’s taste best! Thanks for the visit 🙂

    1. Bobbi I am so glad you liked it 🙂 It’s definitely in the comfort food category in my opinion but healthier 😉

    1. Thanks Maggie! It is one of my faves! If you try it let me know I hope you enjoy it and thank you so much for stopping in over here 🙂

    1. I hear we are going to get bunches of snow! This soup is perfect for icy cold weather it’s delicious and makes me feel like I have had a fattening treat although I think it’s healthier overall.

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