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Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut chicken) or in this case Duck

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Tom kha kai, tom kha gai or Thai coconut soup, literally “chicken galangal soup” is a spicy and sour hot soup with coconut milk in Thai and Lao cuisines

Traditionally more of a soup, but by thickening, it up and keto adapting it, it becomes a wonderful main dish. This is a go-to favorite of ours on a cold day. Then again it’s a wonderful summer dish as well, served cold or slightly warm. We tend to use duck over chicken as the flavors and fats are so much yummier than chicken. Thus dish is listed with chicken for ease but we substitute duck from the roast Peking duck we do often.

Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut Duck)

Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut chicken) or in this case Duck

an image of a soup plate filled with Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut Duck) with Thai curry, coconut cream and cilantro

Traditionally more of a soup, but by thickening it up and keto adapting it, it becomes a wonderful main dish.

  • Author: EsmeSalon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups, Stews, and Chili
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: Thai


Units Scale
  • 2 Tablespoons keto fat (coconut oil or olive oil or avocado oil)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage (I prefer a mixture of cabbage, red or green, with mostly bok choy as the Bok Choy gives a deeper texture and flavor)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 500g boneless Chicken/Duck breast cut into 2cm strips or chunks
  • 3 shallots or green onion chopped
  • 13 Tbls red or yellow Thai curry paste (it’s easier using premade paste)
  • 12 cups home-made bone broth (store-bought in a pinch)
  • 1 can full cream coconut cream (not milk but thick creamy cream)
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat 1 Tbls fat in a hot cast-iron skillet.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and saute cabbage until wilted.
  3. Season with salt and set aside keeping the fats.
  4. Heat remaining fat and add chicken and saute for 5 min.
  5. Don’t worry about being fully cooked they cook in the next steps.
  6. Add shallots and saute for 1 min, reduce heat to low, and add curry paste, broth, and coconut cream.
  7. Simmer and uncover to 20-40 min to reduce (the longer the thicker the sauce gets).
  8. Once the chicken/duck is cooked add cabbage back in and warm through.
  9. Stir in cilantro and squeeze a lime for added flavor (optional).
  10. Remove from heat and serve in bowls.
  11. I added a few red grapes for the heck of it


Prepared, tried, and tested by Sean from The Recipe Hunter: Tried  and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs 


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 3119
  • Sugar: 20.9 g
  • Sodium: 1443.7 mg
  • Fat: 7.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 47.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 93.9 mg

Keywords: Thai, coconut, chicken, duck

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an image of a soup plate filled with Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut Duck) with Thai curry, coconut cream and cilantro
Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut Duck)
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2 thoughts on “Tom ka Gai (Thai coconut chicken) or in this case Duck”

  1. Excellent recipe!
    By accident I made a similar one for Xmas using duck neck but without thai curry paste (I make my own paste from my own chili and using galangal, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves). Iám glad to see not only I use duck for this recipe 🙂


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