Need a delicious and flavourful soup that gets ready in under 30 minutes, then this Tom Kha Soup is a perfect match for you. It is an authentic Thai soup made with fragrant herbs, spices, mushroom, and coconut milk. This soup can be made vegetarian or with chicken or shrimp
About This Recipe
You must be wondering what is Tom Kha Soup? Tom means soup and Kha means “galangal” in Thai. So literally, this means soup with galangal.
This is one of the most popular Thai Coconut soups that can be found on the menu of every Thai restaurant. You will find almost every restaurant selling this delicious and gluten-free soup which is absolutely perfect.
Rich and creamy, yet tangy and salty, this soup recipe is light on the stomach but still fills you up for a longer time. The best part, it has so many flavors dancing in your mouth, and the heavenly aroma can make you hungry instantly.
Tom Kha is packed with flavors and is a bit spicy in taste. It has a beautifully rich, creamy coconut milk base that balances the Thai flavors of lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves.
The fragrant Thai ingredients such as Lemon Grass, Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves makes the soup smells so heavenly. Also, if you can’t find Galangal, then you can use fresh ginger as a substitute.
If you are looking for a Vegan option, you can skip the fish sauce or can use the vegan fish sauce instead. In place of Chicken, you can add vegetables of your choice.
One serving of this soup has approximately 315 Kcals. The soup is rich in minerals and vitamins too. If you add noodles, the calories will increase per serving but it will be quite filling.
This Thai Coconut Soup is
- Sweet+ Tart + Salty
- Naturally Gluten-Free
- Can be made Vegan + Vegetarian
- Cooks under 20 minutes
Coconut Milk – The base of the soup is made with coconut milk, which makes it different from other soups. It makes the soup rich and creamy and gives it a distinct flavor. I have used canned coconut milk but you can definitely use freshly made for a more authentic flavor.
Vegetables – I have used only onions and mushrooms, but you can make this soup more nutritious by adding your favorite vegetables such as carrot, broccoli, beans, etc.
Galangal – This is another important ingredient in this recipe, which adds a significant taste. But finding this ingredient is also not that easy! If you can’t find galangal, you can use ginger instead.
Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaves – These two are my favorite ingredients! The taste that these two add to the soup is out of the world. So make sure you don’t miss them, especially Lemongrass.
Thai Bird’s Eye Chilli – Adds the spiciness in this soup. You can adjust the amount of these chilies according to your taste.
If you cannot find the same, you can use any spicy red chillies.
Vegetable Broth – As coconut milk is a little thick and creamy, to get the soup into a soupy consistency, we will add vegetable broth, which has the flavor of its own and it adds to the soup’s taste too. I use my Homemade Vegetable Broth to give this soup the best flavor.
Coconut Oil – Make it in Coconut Oil, as it brings out the flavor even more. But if it’s not available, you can use any vegetable oil instead.
Other Ingredients – Apart from the above, the ingredient that is used to make this soup are garlic, lemon, brown sugar, and fish sauce.
Step by Step Recipe
Heat coconut oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic and fry for a minute.
Add lemongrass, galangal, Thai red chilli, kaffir lime leaves, and vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil.
Simmer the heat and let the soup simmer for 25-30 minutes, covered.
Using a strainer, remove the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, and chillies.
Add mushroom in the soup and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add fish sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and coconut milk and bring the soup to a simmer. Garnish with cilantro, chopped red chillies, and lemon wedges and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both these soups are the most popular soups and you will find them on most Thai menus in the starters section. Served hot, these soups offer a flavor-packed, spicy soup that is light and tasty.
But it has a slight difference! While the base of Tom Kha Soup has a creamy texture because of the coconut milk that goes perfectly with the Thai ingredients such as Lemon Grass, Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves, the base of Tom Yum is made of a boiled spicy broth that combines sweet, spicy, and sour flavors into one dish.
Tom Kha Soup is a delicious dish that is considered to be very low in carbohydrates, and thus great to include in your meals. It helps in the regulation of blood sugar and also helps in weight loss.
Also because of coconut milk, it’s quite healthy and wholesome, and thus it is very filling and you won’t feel hungry for a long time.
To make Tom Kha Soup in an Instant Pot, press the SAUTE button.
Add coconut oil in the Instant Pot. Add in onion, garlic and fry for a minute. Now add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot except coconut milk, lime juice, and sugar. Close the lid and pressure cook on high for about 5 minutes. Once done, let the pressure release naturally.
Open the lid, using a strainer, remove the onion, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, and chilies. Add in coconut milk, sugar, lime juice, give it a mix and serve hot.
The stalk part of the lemongrass is used in soups and stews so that they release the flavor while cooking, whereas the white part is chopped and used in curries, marinades, and stir-fries.
To use in this soup, just chop off the bottom of the stalk, peel the outer layer and chop into thirds to fit in the pot.
When Tom Kha is made with chicken, it’s called Tom Kha Gai Soup. Add boiled and shredded chicken breast to the basic vegetarian soup to make this version. You can even add prawns in this soup instead of Chicken.
You can make it into a full meal by adding some cooked noodles to it. I like to add rice vermicelli noodles but you can go ahead and add whichever are easily available.
To make Tom Kha vegan, you can use Soy sauce instead of Fish sauce. All other ingredients used in this soup are vegan.
This Soup is one of those recipes that tastes better the next day! You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. Just heat it in a pan or microwave, before serving.
This Soup freezes well. Just let it cool down once you prepare it and then store it in a freezer-safe container for about 3 months. Thaw it before you heat the soup.
I would recommend you to freeze this soup without coconut milk. You can add in coconut milk later, once you heat the frozen soup. This works better than freezing the soup with coconut milk.
This Tom Kha Soup stands alone and is great for a light weekday meal. I make the noodle versions when I am serving only this soup for my weeknight dinners.
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Tom Kha Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Onion (Sliced)
- 1 tsp Garlic (Chopped)
- 3 stalk Lemongrass
- 2-3 inch Galangal (Sliced)
- 6-8 Thai Bird's Eye Chillies (Whole)
- 2-3 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Torn)
- 4 cups Vegetable Broth
- 200 g Mushroom (Sliced)
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 cups Coconut Milk
- Heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic and fry for a minute.
- Add lemon grass, galangal, Thai red chilli, kaffir lime leaves and vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil.
- Simmer the heat and let the soup simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Using a strainer, remove the onion, lemon grass, galangal, kaffir leaves and chillies.
- Add mushroom in the soup and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add fish sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and coconut milk and bring the soup to a simmer.
- Garnish with cilantro, chopped red chillies and lemon wedges and serve hot.