In Traveling Feasts in a Gourmet’s Pocket, Hazal Muhtar shares unique and easy-to-make recipes from International cuisines.

As the weather is getting colder and colder on the Wesleyan campus, I decided to share with you a recipe for a healthy and delicious winter soup, Tom Kha Kai. This simple Thai chicken soup has that distinctive balance of spicy, salty, sweet and sour, and has high health benefits.

Just to refresh our understanding and appreciation of Thai cuisine, I will say that the Thai kitchen is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into something unique. The characteristics of Thai food depend on the cook, the context, and the consumer! Dishes can be refined and adjusted to suit all palates.

As David Thompson, an acknowledged expert of Thai cuisine, explains “Thai food isn’t about simplicity. It’s about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. Like a complex musical chord it’s got to have a smooth surface but it doesn’t matter what’s happening underneath. Simplicity isn’t the dictum here, at all. Some westerners think it’s a jumble of flavors, but to a Thai that’s important, it’s the complexity they delight in.”

Thaisoup. pic 1

Courtesy of foodiecrush


  1. 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  2. Two 12 ounce cans of coconut milk
  3. 2 cups chicken stock
  4. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  6. 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into  small pieces
  7. 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  8. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  9. 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  10. 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  11. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  12.  Cilantro for garnish
  13.  Cooked white rice



  1. Cook the chicken breast pieces in a separate pan with salt and leave aside.
  2. Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, brown sugar and peanut butter in a big pot.
  3. Add the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the pot, cover and cook medium for about half an hour.
  4. Add in the peas and cook for 5-10 more min.
  5. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and white rice.


Have a lovely week!