I learned to cook Thai food while living in the Thia Town area of Los Angeles. One night while prepping to make Tom Kha Gai the peanut butter caught my eye and that was the start.

The soup tasted odd that first night, so I went over the ingredient list and started marking items that might be the cause. Removed one ingredient every time I made this soup until it was right. I’ve made this soup with water and chicken stock, I feel it has a cleaner taste made with water.

One Saturday night I had friends from Thailand over for dinner and served the soup, dinner went very well.

One friend commented that even though the soup wasn’t a traditional Thai dish, the flavor’s and spice of the where dead on, and anyone who didn’t know better would think it was.

  • Yield: 8 sevings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 35
  • Active: 20

Ingredients (18)

  • 2 C. Jasmine Rice
  • 4 C. fresh water
  • 2-4 T. peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3-7 fresh Bird’s eye chili’s, bruised
  • 2 chicken breast, boned & skinned, cut to bite size pieces
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ C. white wine
  • 6 holy basil, leaves
  • 3 C. fresh water
  • 2 T. fish Sauce
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
  • 2-3″ pieces lemongrass, bruised and sliced diagonally
  • 7-10 peppercorns
  • 2 C. peanut butter, creamy
  • 1 ½ C. Coconut milk
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • Coriander for garnish


  1. Over medium-high heat bring 4 C. water on to boil, stir in rice cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn burner off and leave the rice covered for 10 more minutes. Remove cover and fluff rice with a fork.
  2. While the rice is cooking…

If the range fan isn’t on, nows the time to turn it on, you might want to open the doors and windows too.

Heat a wok right on top of a burner over high flame, when the wok begins to smoke add the peanut oil, when the oil is hot take a breath and do not lean over the wok, add the garlic and chili’s stir for about 30 seconds.

  1. Add chicken and shallot, toss for 30 seconds before adding the wine and basil, reduce volume of liquid by about half while stirring.
  2. Add water, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and peppercorns, bring to a boil then add peanut butter and reduce heat to medium. Stir continuously until peanut butter is blended in, simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls over steamed rice, splash with lime juice and garnish with coriander.