Go Back
–+ servings
two bowls of aip tom kha gai, each with spoons
Print

AIP Tom Kha Gai (Paleo, Whole30, Keto and Gluten-free)

AIP Tom Kha Gai is that soup everyone loves β€” with the comfort food flavors of coconut cream, fresh lime juice, ginger, lemongrass and a buttery chicken stock. This nightshade-free version is also Paleo, Whole30, Keto and Gluten-free. Instant Pot or stove top. (The Keto version has just 2 grams net carbs per serving.)
Course DInner
Cuisine American, Thai
Keyword aip, instant pot, keto, paleo, tom kha gai, whole30
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
The Instant Pot will take about 25 minutes to reach pressure, before the 15 minutes cooking time begins. 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 272kcal
Author Megan
Cost $15

Equipment

  • Instant Pot/pressure cooker or saucepan/stock pot

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 4 cups veggies zucchini, mushrooms and celery preferred, sliced
  • 8 ounces water chestnuts canned, rinsed, optional (omit for Keto)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk full fat, not Lite
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 3 Tablespoons ginger fresh, minced or grated; or use 2 teaspoons dried ginger powder, if you can't access fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sea salt (This combines with the chicken and water to create a rich chicken stock.)
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce Red Boat brand
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar ; for Keto, use 5 drop stevia OR "brown sugar" low carb granulated sweetener
  • 2 shakes (a little over 2 drops) lemongrass essential oil OR one stalk of fresh lemongrass (see recipe Notes below for how-to)
  • ΒΌ cup cilantro or mint, fresh, for garnish

Instructions

INSTANT POT VERSION

  • Add to Instant Pot insert: water, chicken, veggies, fresh lemongrass (if using) and sea salt. (If you're using dried ginger powder, add it now too.)
  • Put on lid. Shut steam valve. Choose "Stew" button, then decrease time to 15 minutes. When timer goes off, allow steam to release naturally for 45 minutes (if you have the time); otherwise, carefully do a quick release. (Press "Cancel" button. A dish towel or hot pad can be helpful to carefully open steam valve.)
  • Use tongs to remove thighs to cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces and return to pot.
  • Add most of the remaining ingredients to the pot also: coconut milk, green onions, lime juice, fresh ginger, coconut aminos, fish sauce, coconut sugar (or low carb sweetener for Keto) and lemongrass EO if you're using it.
  • Stir well, serve, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

STOVE TOP VERSION

  • Place into medium stock pot or large saucepan: chicken, water and sea salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low or medium-low to maintain a slow simmer, and cover. (If you're using fresh lemongrass and/or dried ginger powder, add those now too.) Cook gently for 20 minutes. Then remove lid, add veggies (zucchini, mushrooms and celery), and gently cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove chicken with tongs, to cutting board. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite-size pieces.
  • Add chicken back to soup pot with most of the remaining ingredients: coconut milk, green onions, lime juice, fresh ginger, coconut aminos, fish sauce, coconut sugar (or low carb sweetener for Keto) and lemongrass EO if you're using it.
  • Stir well, serve, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Notes

How to use fresh lemongrass

To use whole lemongrass stalk, cut off the top of the stalk, and set it aside. Peel off the outer layers of the bottom 3 inches β€” to reveal a paler, more tender core. Cut off the lower bulb end and discard it. Using the butt of a heavy knife, a rolling pin or a similar tool, smash the root to soften it and release the flavors. Add both top of stalk and smashed bottom root to soup pot before cooking, and remove them before serving/eating.
When purchasing lemongrass stalks, choose ones that are heavy, tightly formed and firm without bruising.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 2084mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4803IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg