Yesterday morning Tom Kha (Thai Coconut Soup) came up in conversation and I promised to send my friend Sarah my version of this recipe. Then on my way to yoga later in the day, another friend simply texted, “I want Thai food.” I texted back “me too. pick me up some”. Suddenly I realized I’d really like to make soup and I had about half of the ingredients already. So right before yoga began, I texted Tom again, “if you pick up cilantro, lemongrass, tofu, and mushrooms, I’ll make us soup tonight”. Next thing I knew, there were 4 of us around the dinner table enjoying Tom Kha. Yum. So, no pictures, and yes there are drafts waiting to be published of other dishes, but I’m throwing this out there while it’s damp and chilly outside and while Sarah still awaits my version of this recipe.
Since the blond roommate was eating too, we replaced the chicken broth with veggie broth which I never do, but it tasted delightful. I also used tofu instead of chicken which also worked just fine. I also usually use galangal but didn’t have that in the house for this time.
3 cups vegetable stock (1 box organic vegetable broth)
2 cup coconut milk (1 can)
2-3 T fish sauce
1-3 tsp chili paste
1 T sugar (or more to taste)
2 stalks lemongrass
2 inch piece of ginger, sliced in large pieces (so you can remove before eating), bruised
2 red shallots, chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves
10 button mushrooms
1 large tomato, cut into pieces
8 oz tofu
Juice of 3 limes
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cups of white rice
Prepare rice and set aside.
Chop the tender part of the lemongrass very finely and bruise the rest (the whole stock, cut in half, and smash it a little with a knife and your palm). Heat 1 T vegetable oil in a pot and add shallots, lemongrass, and if you have galangal add that now too (I used ginger here). Saute until tender, and cover over low heat to let the lemongrass get very tender about 5-7 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of chili paste.
Add coconut milk, broth, the lime leaves and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and add fish sauce and sugar, stir until dissolved. Add mushrooms and tofu. Simmer over low, partially covered until mushrooms are just tender. Add tomato. Add more chili, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice according to your taste.
Serve soup over rice and garnish with a hefty sprinkling of cilantro and a lime wedge.