Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha) is one of my favorite Asian dishes.
Sometimes, I have recipe writer’s block. The harder I try to think of something to make, the more I can’t. It’s those times when I buy random ingredients and get home to my pantry and fridge that inspiration strikes.
My local market had wild-caught shrimp on sale, which I couldn’t resist, and when I got home I suddenly thought: tom kha! This is a common Thai soup that is really easy to make but has so many layers of complex flavor.
How to Make Thai Coconut Soup at Home
The only problem is that I didn’t have lemongrass or Thai chili paste that most of the recipes I looked at called for, so I thought, “I’m going to solutionize this scenario.”
I omitted the lemongrass but doubled the lime juice and used sriracha instead of red chili paste. In 5 minutes – plus the time it took me to peel and devein the shrimp – I had a hot, yummy bowl of tom kha in my hands! It might not be 100% authentic but it is 1) easy, 2) fast and 3) a damn good recreation.
You’ll start by making the soup base with broth and coconut milk, infusing it with flavorings, quickly cooking the protein, and finishing with a garnish. Super simple.
Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha) Recipe
Make this Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Kha) recipe for a quick, tasty, nutritious lunch that comes together in just minutes! Paleo and dairy-free!
- 14 oz coconut milk full-fat
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb shrimp or chicken breast
- 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced into 1/8” rounds
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
Prepare the shrimp by peeling and deveining if not already done prior to purchase. If using chicken, clean the chicken of any connective tissue and cut into small chunks.
In a pot over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, chicken stock and ginger. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Add the shrimp or chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce and sriracha. Simmer until the shrimp (less than 5 min) or the chicken (5 to 10 minutes) is cooked through.
Top with fresh chopped cilantro for garnish. If you’d like, you can remove the ginger before serving or just eat around it. I wouldn’t recommend eating the rounds as they can be fibrous and tough.
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