Tom Kha Gai – Thai Ginger Chicken Dumpling Soup

This is a Thai-style Tom Kha Gai soup. Thai translation: Tom (Spicy), Kha (Galangal), Gai (chicken). If you’re wondering what the heck Galangal is…it’s a Thai root spice very similar to ginger, however the flavor is quite unique. If you’re in a bind and can’t get your hands on it, you can use root ginger for this recipe instead, but if you can, go for the galangal – it’s the traditional ingredient for this soup. I’m going to call this “Thai Ginger Chicken Dumpling Soup” because the green curry chicken balls remind me of dumplings — and chicken ‘dumplings’ sound better than chicken ‘balls’. Moving on

My recipe yesterday for the Thai Red Curry Fish Balls actually inspired this one — both recipes are prepared exactly the same way and both can be used in soups, a top a veggie stir fry, in salads, the options are endless.

This soup is simple to make, and a healthy and much lighter version to your traditional Thai curries. The key I’ve found in my Thai cooking is to have all the veggies prepared first and ready to throw in at the last minute. I don’t actually add the mung bean sprouts OR shredded carrot until the very last second, so they’re virtually uncooked. So much better that way – overcooked Thai food = gluggy.We like our Thai food spicy, so you can adjust the red chili to your liking. If you like mild to medium spice, I’d start with half the amount and add more to taste. I also like using either organic coconut oil or lime infused avocado oil (which I’m addicted to) when cooking Thai food.

This recipe has two parts: the first is the Thai green curry chicken balls (er — dumplings) and the second is the Thai ginger soup base. I start with the chicken dumplings. This recipe makes enough dumplings for 4 servings, while my soup recipe below is a large serving for two (or can serve 4 as a starter). If you have any chicken dumplings left over, you can store these in the fridge for up to 4 days, or put them in the freezer in a ziplock bag and after a quick defrost they’re ready to go!

chickendumplings2Thai Green Curry Chicken Dumplings

Dietary Info: GF/DF/SF/PA/LC (*see notes at end of post for dietary codes)

Yield: Makes 16 chicken dumplings (Serves 4)
Serving Size: 4 dumplings


  • 440g skinless organic chicken breast
  • 1 large kaffir lime leaf, cut into thin strips
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 red chili, chopped with seeds (without if you don’t like too much spice)
  • 2 tsp. green curry paste
  • 3 Tbs. organic coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh ginger, chopped into small chunks (not grated)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped into small chunks


  1. Preheat oven with baking tray to 395 (200 celsius).
  2. Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor. Blitz to form a paste, transfer to a bowl then add the chopped ginger and garlic. I like to leave the ginger and garlic just a little chunky for the texture. Mix with a spoon until garlic and ginger is well combined with the chicken paste mixture.
  3. Wet your hands with a smidgen of coconut milk (I find this works much better than water) and using a 1.5 Tbs. scoop, scoop out the mixture into your hands forming into a ball (about 1.5-2″ dimeter). Place on plate, and repeat until you’ve done this to all of the mixture. This recipe makes 16 balls.
  4. Remove hot baking tray from oven, and line with baking paper or a dash or two of light cooking spray. Working quickly, place balls onto baking tray, making sure they aren’t touching (see photo below). Lightly spray over the top with cooking spray (I use a light olive oil spray), and return tray to oven. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven, turn balls over and bake for another 7-10 minutes (until a nice golden color). Remove chicken dumplings from hot tray, cover and set aside.

chickendumplings1(the chicken dumplings, just about to get baked)

While the chicken dumplings are baking, prepare the Thai ginger soup base below:

tomkhagai1For the Thai Ginger Soup Base

Dietary Info: GF/DF/SF/PA/LC (*see notes at end of post for dietary codes)

Yield: 4 cups
Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs. Thai green curry paste (I use Aroy-D)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chili (with seeds) finely chopped (plus 1 red chili, deseeded and cut into strips to garnish)
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 large kaffir lime leaf, cut into long strips (OR 2 Tbs. fresh thai basil)
  • 3 cups organic chicken broth
  • 3/4 c. (177mLs) organic (unsweetened and full fat) coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice (plus 1-2 more tsp. to taste if needed)
  • 1 bunch (about 80g) baby bok choy, trimmed and chopped once lengthwise
  • approx 1/4 (30g) carrot, grated into long strips
  • 3/4 c. (60g) mung bean sprouts

To garnish:

fresh lime juice

1 red chili, deseeded and cut into long strips


  1. Heat coconut oil in a non-stick saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add the green curry paste, garlic and chili and stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, kaffir lime and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and add remaining fish sauce, lime juice to taste.
  4. Remove from heat, add bok choy and cover until chicken dumplings are done baking.
  5. Divide fresh mung bean sprouts and grated carrots between two large soup bowls.
  6. Ladle hot broth into serving bowls, drop in 4 chicken dumplings in each, and serve immediately garnished with kaffir lime leaves, a squeeze of fresh lime and sprinkle red chilli for color.

tomkhagai3Nutrition information for the chicken dumplings per serving (4 dumplings): Calories 130, Fat 2.4g, Carb 1.5g, Protein 26g

Nutrition information for the Thai ginger soup per serving (1 cup): Calories 110, Fat 9g, Carb 5g, Protein 3g

Special Dietary Needs:

Gluten Free/Grain Free = GF
Dairy Free = DF
Sugar Free = SF
Paleo Approved = PA
Vegetarian = V
Low Carb = LC

The above codes for specific dietary requirements will be found under each recipe title.

One thought on “Tom Kha Gai – Thai Ginger Chicken Dumpling Soup

  1. Pingback: Thai Red Curry Fish Balls with wok-grilled Green Beans and Zucchini | THE ARTISTS PLATE

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