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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