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Tom Kha Gai - Thai Coconut Milk Soup

Tom Kha Gai - Thai Coconut Soup vegetarian

It really is amazing how much flavor there is in this simple soup that takes about 10 minutes to make. There are several specialty ingredients that are worth the effort if you can find them.  

If you can get your hands on some fish sauce, I highly recommend it, it really makes this soup unique. But soy sauce is a fine sub and keeps the soup vegetarian. 

If you can't find kaffir lime leaves (ask at your Asian market) you can try some lime zest.  

Galangal is a very special aromatic that I also recommend you search out at your Asian market, but ginger will do. 

Usually this soup is made with small thai chiles, but any chile will do. Just adjust according to how spicy you want it. 

Traditionally this soup is made with chicken pieces instead of vegetables, so feel free to put in some boneless skinless chicken breast cut in small cubes before the vegetables if you like.   

Watch me make this soup with Jamie below. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 1Servings


  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup your choice of vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, baby corn, green beans)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 - 5 slices galangal or ginger
  • ½ stick lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 small Thai chiles, pressed or broken in half for more heat


1. Add coconut milk to a small pot and place on medium heat until bubbles begin to form. Add vegetables and cook until they begin to change color. 

2. Add water and then fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice and mix well. 

3. Add herbs and return to a boil. Serve hot.