Veg Tom-Kha Gai (Thai Soup)


We generally think of soups when we want to eat something healthy, or just need a tasty appetizer. And though Tomato soup has always been my favourite, another one that comes really close is the Tom-Kha Gai - a vegetarian Thai soup based in coconut milk that has Asian herbs and spices to impart a delicate tangy and spicy flavor. I'm sure people who've been to Thai restaurants must have tried this one; we always order a large family-size bowl of Tom-Kha Gai which forms a major part of my Thai meal:) This soup is easy to make, but it does use specific herbs so I'd advise you to plan for it and visit asian grocery stores (or even the asian foods section in supermarkets) to get all the ingredients in advance. But believe me, your efforts will surely pay off when you taste this delicious soup!

Ingredients
1 cup coconut milk
2 stalks of lemon grass (fresh or frozen)
1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
2 tbsp lime juice
4-5 Lime leaves (available in grocery stores, asian food section)
2-3 serrano chillies (or regular green chillies)
1 tsp sugar
3-4 slices of Galangal (you can use ginger as an alternative, but Galangal gives the best flavor, so try to buy it if you can )
1/4 cup cilantro- chopped
1/4 cup soft fresh tofu - cubed
7-8 pieces baby corn - cut in half
2-3 pieces broccoli (optional)
1/4 cup carrot - diced or shredded
3-4 button mushrooms (or any variety you like) - diced in small pieces

Method
Use only the bottom white part (about 6 inches of the stalk part) of Lemongrass and discard the woody grass part of it. With the flat side of a ladle or a butcher's knife, pound and mash the lemongrass so it releases the flavor. Cut into 2 inch segments.

Put the vegetable stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Toss the galangal, lemongrass, sugar, and lime leaves into it. Simmer for 5-7 mins till it gives out an aroma. Add the coconut milk and chillies, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Finally, add all the veggies, baby corn and mushrooms and cook till they are boiled and soft.

Turn off the heat, add lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Adjust salt and lemon to your taste. It should be flavorful and tasty, with lemongrass and coconut milk imparting the maximum flavor, followed by galangal, chillies, lime juice, sugar and coriander. Serve hot and let yourself be carried into the exotic flavor of the Asian Thai cuisine!!

This goes straight to Kalyn's Kitchen to add flavor to her 2-year anniversay WHB Event!!


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27 comments :

Sirisha Kilambi said...

wow....yummy soup......have to give a try dear ;-)

Suganya said...

I love how all the ingredients are authentic. Will try collecting them during my next visit to the Asian store.

Asha said...

Thai soup sounds and looks great. Tomato soup we get in the restaurants is so full of cream,it's scary to try but home made is wonderful with little cream on top!:))

Maryann said...

Wow! You are quite a cook! Wish you were my neighbor :)
Your range of dishes and cuisines is vast. It's always a pleasure to visit your blog.

Anonymous said...

I am a great fan of Tom-Kha, just like you I guess!!:D I love this soup, thnx forr sharing the recipe!

Padma said...

Love the color of the soup! looks awesome

Kribha said...

You know Mansi, I made thai red curry yesterday. Have to post it soon. Wish that you posted your soup a little earlier. I could have added that to our meal. Looks so nice. Bookmarked to try it.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Beautiful soup! It sounds a bit intense, but a must-try.

tigerfish said...

I usually take Tom Yum Soup when it comes to Thai food. Looks like I need to try other soups or I will be missing out.

bee said...

i adore thai, tand i'm surely bookmarking this recipe. thanks.

Susan said...

I just purchased some dried galangal today. Don't know what it tastes like vis-a-vis fresh, but I'll find out. : ) This soup looks like a good place to start. Oddly enough, I do have fresh lemongrass stalks purchased w/out any recipe in mind. Thanks for the idea, Mansi!

Siri said...

Love the authenticity of the soup ..:D..

KayKat said...

Thai soups truly rock - intensely flavorful. I love that yours is the real thing, I better add this to my list to to-try recipes!

Richa said...

that is one amazing soup with lemon grass & all, YUM, a must try :)

Nan said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! This soup looks really yummy. I wish I could find galangal and lime leaves where I am...it really puts a crimp on the possibilities for making Indian food (and other cuisines, too).

Tee said...

Yum! Looks extremely comforting. This goes down in my bookmarks. I have so many of your recipes bookmarked and you come up with new and good ones every day! :)

Mansi Desai said...

Thanks everyone! This is on of my favourites, so I'm really happy you'll liked it:)

Tee- keep bookmarking, 'coz I'm gonna keep serving you more delicacies...after all, anything for friends yaar!!:D

Latha Narasimhan said...

Soup with coconut milk! must be tasting great mansi!:)) You post really lovely recipes! I feel we shoud have an event devoting a whole month to cook from other blogs! Once RCI tamizh festival is over ( which is close to my heart) I plan to try all recipes from other blogs!:))

Lubna said...

Hey Mansi,
I came across your food blog through the comment you posted on Nabeela's blog. I really like your recipes...all of them are worth a try. Also love the simple and beautifull look of your blog.Keep up the good work.

-Lubna

Mansi Desai said...

Latha - u r so right about that concept!! and I think Coffee's MBP does something lke that, right??

Lubna - thx for your appreciation and kind words...it's support and acknowledgement from my reades tht keeps me going!!:)

Mallow said...

I'm so excited for this recipe! Tom Kha soup is one of my all-time favorite foods!

musical said...

Awesome! This is one yummy soup! Even more tempting because i am craving Thai food right now :).

joey said...

This is my absolute favorite Thai soup! :) Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Kalyn said...

It sounds very delicious. I do love these Thai soups. Thanks for helping us celebrate two years of WHB.

(BTW, please don't feel slighted if I don't enter AFAM. I teach school full time and write for another site besides writing Kalyn's Kitchen and very rarely have time to enter any other events besides WHB.)

Anonymous said...

I noticed that I'm a little late in finding this, but...

Thanks for posting the Tom Kha recipe. It looks delicious and I look forward to trying it. I LOVE having tom kha!

Also, I just wanted to pass along a quick factoid. "Gai" in Thai means "Chicken," so the soup you're making would be called Tom Kha Tohu (Tohu means tofu).

Thanks again!

Mansi Desai said...

anonymous - thank you so much for enlightening me about the name! and i never would've realized it myself!:) hope you find the actual recipe worth a cook!:)

Shayna said...

This is a really late post too, but I wanted to comment anyway. :-)

First of all, THANKS for posting this recipe. Tom Ka is my favorite thing to order at Thai restaurants (usually along with yellow curry or pad thai with tofu).

I have a question though - have you ever tried freezing and reheating this recipe, or even just eating refrigerated leftovers the next day? It seems like it might not work, but I'm cooking for only 2 so it would be great to be able to have leftovers for lunch the next day - or to make a big batch and to have it all week. What do you think?