Some people believe that ginger is a good substitute for galangal but even though they are both rhizomes from the same family (zingiberaceae), they are indeed very different. Perhaps you could get away with using ginger instead of galangal in other recipes but “kha” means galangal so to make this recipe without it wouldn’t really make much sense.
My Thai friend recommended me to boil the chicken in water mixed with a little coconut milk and then throw the liquid away. I thought this was a bit odd as I’d expect the liquid to be full of flavour but apparently this is a Thai technique (that some Thais follow) to make sure there are no impurities in the final soup as apparently it should be pearly white. I actually couldn’t bring myself to throw the liquid away and ended up using it in another recipe but it could have another use. If you find the final soup to be too heavy, you can “water” it down with some of this liquid; just make sure you sieve it first to get rid of the impurities (or don’t bother and just whack it all in lol).
Even though this is a soup, it is actually common among Thais to serve it with Thai Jasmine rice and eaten much like a Thai curry.
If you love coconut, you’ll love this soup!
4 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into bite sized chunks
1l coconut milk
1 lemongrass, bashed and cut into large pieces
2 galangal, sliced into thick rounds
6 kaffir lime leaves, ripped in half
3 Thai chillies, cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce
1 tsp. palm sugar (or any other type)
Oyster mushrooms, torn into strips
1 lime, juiced
Note: You are not meant to eat the lemongrass, galangal or kaffir lime leaves but you can chew on them to extract maximum flavour if you wish.