Galangal is the star of the dish, giving the soup a mild, spicy aroma whilst the coconut cream lends it a richer, creamier broth than other Thai soups.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 lemongrass stalk, sliced
  • 3 small red shallots, peeled
  • 6 red bird’s eye chillies, 4 sliced
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) coconut cream
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp grated palm sugar
  • 10 slices young galangal
  • 2 makrut lime leaves, torn
  • 100 g (3½ oz) straw or small oyster mushrooms
  • 100 g (3½ oz) skinless chicken breast or boneless thigh, sliced
  • 2–3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1–2 tbsp lime juice
  • 30 g (1 oz/1 cup loosely packed) coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra whole leaves to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. In a mortar and pestle, briefly pound the lemongrass, shallots and the whole chillies to bruise them. Transfer to a saucepan and add the chicken stock and coconut cream. Bring to the boil over medium heat and add the salt, palm sugar, galangal and makrut lime leaves.
  2. Simmer for 2–3 minutes to allow the flavours to develop, then add the mushrooms and sliced chicken. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Place most of the sliced chilli in a large serving bowl. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and coriander leaves and mix well. Ladle in the soup, stirring to combine, and check for seasoning; the soup should have a balance of salty, sour and spicy flavours. Adjust the seasoning with extra fish sauce and lime juice if necessary.
  4. Serve the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining sliced chilli and some coriander leaves.


Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99