Cooking: Tom Kha Gai Lesson at Masae Elephant Camp

While in Elephant Camp this month, I had two cooking classes. I decided to video the classes for visual reminders on how to make this delicious soup. My son Mike Campagna and two Münchners, Bridget and Nicolas, were in the class.

Tom Kha Gai Cooking Lesson in Northern Thailand

There was a little confusion in the video on what some of the ingredients were. Chai, our guide, states the brown sauce is soy sauce, but after looking at a number of Tom Kha Gai receipes, I think it might have been fish sauce.

I’ll try making both versions and let you know which one I think was used.

The location of the lesson was right outside our room, with the sound of the rushing river as background music.


  • 3 cups (24 fluid ounces) vegetable stock
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin pieces across the grain
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 fresh red birds-eye chilies (more if you want it spicy)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh galangal, sliced thinly crosswise
  • 1 shallot
  • 4-5 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • Juice from 4-5 limes
  • ¼ cup soy sauce  (or perhaps fish sauce?)
  • 2 Tbs chicken bullion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1½ cups  coconut milk