Chicken Tom Ka Gai soup

By Julie Van Rosendaal on February 19, 2013
This steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup has a Thai twist; easy-to-digest rice noodles in a broth spiked with fresh chilies, ginger, garlic and bright lemon is a perfect cure for the sniffles.


2-4 oz. thin rice or bean vermicelli noodles 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
3 tbsp (45 ml) fish sauce (optional)
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) grated lemon or lime zest
juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper or red Thai chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced (optional)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced mushrooms
1 cup (250 ml) chopped or sliced roasted chicken
1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk chopped fresh cilantro and a lime wedge, for garnish (optional)


1. Soak the noodles in warm or boiling water, according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the stock in a medium pot with the fish sauce, lemon zest and juice, garlic, ginger, chili and lemongrass; bring to a simmer. Add the noodles, carrot, red pepper and mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes, until the noodles are tender.

2. Add the chicken and coconut milk and bring to a simmer; season with salt. If you like, remove the slices of chili and/ or lemongrass. Serve immediately, topped with fresh cilantro and if you like, a lime wedge for squeezing overtop.

Serves 4.

Per serving:

338 calories, 15.22 g fat (11.8 g saturated fat, 2.4 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 21 g protein, 26.9 g carbohydrates, 44 mg cholesterol, 1.3 g fibre

Taking Stock

Chicken carcasses, wings, legs, backs and necks all make great stock, simmered with onions, carrots and celery. The most economical way to make stock is with the leftover carcass of a roasted chicken. To make a quick and easy stock, put it in a pot and cover it with water. Add a small quartered onion and a chopped carrot if you like, the leaves from your celery stalks or any vegetable scraps you’ve kept in your freezer. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for about half an hour. Remove it from the heat and set it aside until it’s cool enough that you can shred whatever meat is left off the bones, or just strain it through a fine sieve and discard the bones and vegetables. Cool and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to six months.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

By Julie Van Rosendaal | February 19, 2013

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