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EASY Tom Kha Gai

I recently was in Thailand for my keto retreat. MAN, it was so much fun! I just love getting to meet and travel with new friends. I never thought I would be able to travel the World and getting to do it while making new keto friends, it is my favorite thing in life! (DO NOT MISS MY UPCOMING TRIP TO VIETNAM! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE! And click HERE to learn more about my GREECE RETREAT!)

While we were in Thailand, we took a boat to the small island of Phi Phi. We stayed at a charming hotel on the beach that had one restaurant that had the most beautiful view of the ocean. At the restaurant, my favorite meal was Tom Kha Gai. Actually, I had Tom Kha Pla (Gai means chicken, Pla means shrimp). I ate it daily and when I came home, I couldn’t wait to make it for my family!


Traditionally, Tom Kha Gai has sugar. The first time I ordered it, I asked if they could make it without sugar and they said, “Absolutely!” It was the most delicious thing I have eaten in a long time!


Tom Kha Gai is very easy to make. Tom means “to boil.” Kha means “galangal” (which is a type of ginger). Gai means “chicken.” It is often served over rice, but in Thailand we just skipped the rice, but now that I am home, I think it would be great over my carnivore rice!

From start to finish, it only took me 15 minutes to make this delicious meal and it makes great leftovers. I personally would wait to add the protein you are using until you are planning on eating it. The chicken (or shrimp) oven gets over cooked when leftover. But when I was in Thailand, I often ordered extra, stored it in my mini fridge in my hotel room and would eat it cold for breakfast.

I have tried many recipes for Tom Kha Gai and I feel this method is the best. I know in Thailand, traditionally, they boiled the scallions and mushrooms instead of sautéing them like I am doing in this recipe, so know that either works, but I find that sautéing them helps bring out more flavor.


When I was served Tom Kha Gai in Thailand, it always had the hard pieces of lemongrass and large pieces of galangal in it even though you are not suppose to eat those parts. I would just pick them out as I ate the rest of it. Before you serve this meal to your family, you can either take the inedible pieces of lemongrass and galangal out or you can leave them in but tell your guests to not eat them.

Either way, I hope you and your guest love this recipe as much as I do! I also hope that you join me on one of my keto retreats!

Click HERE to learn more about my Costa Rica Retreat!

Click HERE to learn about my Vietnam retreat!

Click HERE to learn about my Santorini Greece beach retreat! 

Easy Tom Kha Gai

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Poultry
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6 servings
Calories 306.8


  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 whole shallots quartered
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Redmond Real salt divided
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or beef broth which is what I had)
  • 2 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 stalks lemongrass pounded with the side of a knife and cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 3 1/4 inch slices galangal (or ginger)
  • 6 makrut lime leaves (I ordered dried lime leaves from Amazon)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes quartered
  • 2 tablespoons Redboat fish sauce (or other sugar free fish sauce)
  • Juice of 2 limes (4 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia glycerite (optional and feel free to add more if desired)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  • 2 Thai chilis sliced thin (OPTIONAL, I DO NOT ADD)


  • Place the coconut oil into a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, one can of the coconut milk, pieces of lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves. Heat to medium high heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the pieces of chicken (or shrimp) and cook until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink (this will only take a few minutes.) Stir in the remaining coconut milk.
  • Remove from heat and add the tomatoes, fish sauce, lime juice, stevia glycerite, cilantro (and chilis if you are crazy and like it spicy:).
  • Remind your guests to not eat the lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal (ginger).
  • Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days (if it lasts that long!). To reheat, place into a saucepot over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes or heated to your liking. Can be enjoyed cold.



Calories: 306.8 | Fat: 13.2g | Protein: 41.1g | Carbohydrates: 14.9g | Fiber: 1.2g | P:E Ratio: 1.5


Doesn’t Lori look AMAZING? Let’s cheer her on!

“Thank you Maria! You helped me get off 9 medications including Lyrica/nexium/Cymbalta/pain injections (novican)/tramecet/ and more!

Biggest weight was 289

Now 219

Still need to lose 60 more!!

Following Emmerich Keto/carnivore I’ll get there in no time!

Love your way of teaching!”- Lori 

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Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Brittany Higley says:

    This was fantastic as written! I did however leave out the stevia glycerite as I like things a little more savory. It made a wonderful Sunday supper. And yes Craig! Most definitely at least a NINE 🥰 Thank you again for making what seems like a complicated dish SO SIMPLE. ❤️

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