Katrina Kozar

Food, Love, and Mustard

A Dog Licked the Pan - Tom Kha Gai

Katrina KozarComment
Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai

I’ve been obsessed with Thai food since I was 16 years old. My cool sister, Sarah, (a fellow foodie) introduced me to this cuisine and I fell deeply in love. I dream about vegetables swimming in coconut milk, chilies, ginger and kaffir lime leaves. I want to bath in fish sauce and eat green papaya salad forever. When trying out a new Thai restaurant, I always try their soups and curries to give my assessment and to see if it worthy of a revisit. What I love most about Thai cuisine is the fresh vegetables, the heat and the sweet & sour combinations. I also love the crunch of lettuce wraps and spring rolls. The liquid gold of all Thai food, however, is the rich, sweet and buttery peanut sauce.

I am drooling as we speak.

Over the weekend, I cooked three different soups (Guatemalan Spicy Pork Stew, Tom Kha Gai and a Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili) for 65 of the nicest and hungry disc golfers at a tournament event hosted by Disc On! Ladies League. Feel free to check them out at this website. http://disconladiesleague.com/

My dishes went quickly and even a dog licked a pan of my Guatemalan Spice pork stew. But, what I kept on thinking about was the Tom Kha Gai soup I made for them. I wanted to share the recipe so you can make this lovely, mind-blowing soup for your friends and family.

Serves 6

5 cups chicken stock or broth (homemade is the best)

1 scant tablespoon tom yum paste (available in Asian markets and specialty stores)

4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

1 stalk lemon grass, tender inner part only, roughly chopped

 Juice of half a lime

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 small red Thai chili, finely chopped

½ teaspoon sugar

1 lb chicken breast trimmed, diced

1 15 oz whole and peeled straw mushrooms, drained

1 medium head of broccoli, only use the flowerettes

1 15 oz coconut milk

2 ounces enoki mushrooms, trimmed

1 ½ napa cabbage, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 scallions, cut into short lengths and then into strips

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 limes, quartered


In a medium saucepan, combine chicken stock, tom yum paste, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, lime juice and fish sauce. Add chili and sugar, and stir.

Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Add chicken breast & straw mushrooms, simmer 10 minutes covered. Then add coconut milk and broccoli and simmer without cover for 5 minutes. Finally, add the napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms, and scallions. Simmer 2 to 3 more minutes.

To serve, divide soup between two bowls. Garnish each with 1 tablespoon cilantro and a squeeze of lime, and serve.