Tom Kha Soup – How To Make Authentic Thai Coconut Soup

Do you want to broaden your horizons and enjoy some Thai cuisine? Yes? Well, then you might want to try making your own delicious, rich, and flavorsome Tom Kha soup! It is an amazing dish that is super flavorful and fragrant.

How To Make Authentic Thai Coconut Soup

One taste and you will be hooked. But, such a delightful soup must be impossible to make at home. Right? Wrong! This is a super easy soup to make at home. Anyone that tries it will almost certainly be asking for seconds. 

So, in this article, we are going to go over everything you need to know about making Tom Kha Soup at home, as well as any other tidbits of information that you might need. 

Let’s dive right in and get started!

Quick Answer

For those of you that need a quick answer for how to make Tom Kha soup, this section is going to be for you. So, the first thing that you need to know is what ingredients you need. Everything you need for this soup is as follows: Coconut oil, onion, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, Thai bird’s eye chilies, kaffir lime leaves, vegetable broth, button mushrooms, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and coconut milk.

We have listed the basic steps that you need to follow down below:

  1. Heat up your coconut oil.
  2. Add onion and garlic to the heated oil and sauté.
  3. Add the lemongrass, galangal, Thai red chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and vegetable stock. 
  4. Put the pan on a low heat and allow it to simmer for about half an hour. 
  5. Remove the onions, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, and chilies. 
  6. Add mushrooms to the pan.
  7. Add fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and coconut aminos to the pan and stir well. 

If you want to learn more about making this soup, you absolutely have to read on. There is a lot more that you need to know if you want to do this soup justice. 

A Bit of Background On This Thai Soup

A Bit of Background on This Thai Soup

In Taiwanese, Tom literally means soup, and Kha means galangal. As such, Tom Kha translates to soup with galangal. Aptly named! This is a traditional soup that usually contains kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, galangal, fish sauce, and lemongrass.

You can cook this soup in a single pot and switch out the protein. Tom Kha typically has chicken in it, but you will often see it with tomatoes, shrimp, mushrooms, and other delicious veggies.

This soup is thought to be one of the healthier Thai soups. This is because this is quite a low-fat soup, perfect for those of you that are watching your weight. 

You can easily make this tasty soup at home, which is why it is such a popular dish. The flavor of Tom Kha soup is complex and layered.

The combination of sweet and savory is perfectly balanced! The addition of the coconut milk makes this soup rich and creamy. 

But the star of the show is the lemongrass and galangal, both of which add depth to the overall taste of the amazing soup. But we are not done yet!

With the addition of the kaffir lime leaves, this soup has a mild citrus flavor which perfectly compliments the flavors of the fish sauce and the salty umami flavor. 

Overall, this is a rich, creamy, tangy, and salty soup that is utterly heavenly. This is a very light soup that is remarkably filling. But what makes this soup really unique is how many flavors this soup has and how they all work wonders together. 

A single serving of this soup contains about 315 calories, which makes it a remarkably low-calorie and filly meal. If you want to pad out this dish, you can always add some noodles to make this dish more filling. 

What Ingredients Do You Need For This Soup?

What Ingredients Do You Need For This Soup

Before you do cooking of any kind, you absolutely need to make sure that you have everything on hand to make this delicious Tom Kha soup. Luckily for you, we know what you need to make this soup. As such, we have listed everything you need for this soup below: 

  • Coconut Oil – This recipe calls for one tablespoon of coconut oil. 
  • Onions – Half a cup of sliced and diced onions is needed for this recipe. 
  • Garlic Cloves – For this recipe, you require just one teaspoon of chopped garlic. 
  • Lemongrass – You require three lemongrass stalks to make this delicious soup. 
  • Galangal – This soup recipe calls for two to three inches of galangal or ginger.
  • Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies – You need six to eight whole Thai bird’s eye chilies.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – This recipe calls for two to three kaffir lime leaves. 
  • Vegetable Broth – To make this soup, you will need four cups of vegetable broth. 
  • Button Mushrooms – You are going to need seven-ounce button mushrooms. 
  • Fish Sauce – One tablespoon of fish sauce is needed to make this tasty soup. 
  • Brown Sugar – You need a tablespoon of brown sugar for this recipe. 
  • Lime Juice – Two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice is required. 
  • Coconut Milk – This recipe calls for two cups of coconut milk. 

This is a delicious soup, all of these ingredients work really well together. So, don’t substitute them if you do not need to. That being said, if you would rather enjoy prawns or a non-meat protein, you can do so. 

But, now that you know all the ingredients you need, you can finally get started and cook your soup! It really is quite delightful! Check out the section below to learn more. 

How Do You Make Tom Kha Soup?

How Do You Make Tom Kha Soup

Now that you have everything that you require, we can finally take a closer look at how to make this phenomenal soup. Don’t be intimidated, it is far easier than you might think!

Step 1 – Heat the Oil and Sauté the Onion and Garlic

The first thing you must do to make this delicious soup is put a little coconut oil in a pan and put it on a medium heat. When the oil is good and hot, add your garlic and onion to the pan for a minute or until it is nice and warm. 

Step 2 – Add Some Spices and the Broth

Now that your onions and garlic have been sautéed. Add your lemongrass, galangal, Thai red chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and vegetable stock to the pan to allow the broth to boil. Once you have reached a rolling boil, put the heat on low. 

Step 3 – Let Your Soup Simmer

Put the lid on your pan and let your soup simmer for between twenty-five and thirty minutes.

Once this time has passed, use a strainer and take the onions, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, and chilies out of your soup. With that, you should have the broth, which is the base of your delicious Tom Kha soup!

Step 4 – Cook Your Mushrooms

Now that your broth is ready, your next step is to grab your button mushrooms and toss them in the pan. They will need to cook for between three and four minutes, just make sure that they are heated all the way through and are nice and soft. 

Step 5 – Add a Few Other Ingredients to the Pan

To the same pan with the mushrooms and broth in it, add some fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and coconut milk. Stir these ingredients together and then allow it to simmer. Make sure to stir throughout this process. 

Step 6 – Add Your Garnish and Serve

With that, you should have a delicious Tom Kha soup that is ready to serve. Simply scoop your soup into a bowl and add your garnish of choice.

We recommend a sprinkling of lime wedges, cilantro, and chopped red chilies. This soup is also best served hot! If you want a bit of an extra kick, you might want to add just a dash of chili oil to your soup. 

Tips And Tricks

Tips And Tricks

 The first thing you need to keep in mind with this soup is that the bird’s eye chilies are very spicy. If you do not like spice, you can always use a different variety. If you still want to use Bird’s eye chilies, take care to not bite into these chilies.

Do you want your soup to have an intense mushroom flavor? Yes? Well, you can always use oyster mushrooms, they have a pretty strong flavor that you will certainly notice.

Alternatively, you can always use rehydrated dried mushrooms. They are also known for having a very strong flavor. 

If you are not sure how to use lemongrass, we are here to tell you that it is actually quite easy. Start by smashing the stalk with the back of your knife before you add it to the soup.

This helps to release the flavor in the grass. Alternatively, you can also wrap your lemongrass in a bundle. This makes removing it later on much easier. 

What Variations Are There For This Recipe?

There are a few variations of this recipe, which can make it more suitable for certain people with particular preferences. For starters, this soup will be traditionally made using chicken meat, which is then shredded.

If you are a vegetarian, you can use a meat substitute and vegetable broth. If you prefer seafood, there is always the option to use prawns in this soup instead of chicken. At the end of the day, it is up to you!

Now, if you want to make your soup more filling, you could make your Tom Kha soup with noodles!

We recommend that you add rice vermicelli noodles to your soup, they are a fantastic option, and you are sure to love these noodles with your right and flavorsome Thai soup. 

How Do You Store The Leftovers?

This type of soup can be stored in an airtight plastic container for at least three days. Alternatively, you can also freeze your soup. Just make sure that the container you use is freezer safe. Your soup will last in the freezer for up to three months. 

When you are finally in the mood for some delicious Tom Kha soup, all you need to do is reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Have a side of noodles or rice and enjoy your delicious fragrant Thai soup.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning how to make this rich, flavorsome, and fragrant Thai coconut soup. It really is one of the best soups out there, and you can make it at home without any trouble! 

Even an amateur cook should be able to whip up a decent and delicious soup just like this! If you need to make a soup that you can serve to your guests and be proud of the delectable meal you have put before them, this is going to be the recipe for you.

Just make sure that you have all the ingredients on hand. You also need to follow the instructions to the letter. 

If you have enjoyed reading this article, you are going to want to check out some of our other articles. Our site is filled with fantastic food articles, some of which you are certainly going to find interesting and maybe even useful. 

Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we are going to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.  This is so that you can better understand this type of soup and other related topics. Let’s get started!

Is Tom Yum And Tom Kha Soup The Same Thing?

Both Tom Kha Soup and Tom Yum Soup are Thai dishes that contain coconut milk and a range of delicious authentic herbs and spices. The main difference between these soups is that Tom Yum soup will be made with a clear broth.

Tom Kha soup on the other hand will have a creamy coconut milk broth. On top of that, Tom Yum soup also tends to have a bit more spice than Tom Kha soup. 

Is Tom Kha Soup A Healthy Choice?

For the most part, Tom Kha soup is thought to be a healthy soup. It does not contain a lot of fat, and it also has a lot of healthy and beneficial vitamins and minerals.

So, if you need a soup that is tasty and packed full of beneficial nutrients, you absolutely need to make yourself a batch of homemade Tom Kha soup. 

How Can You Make Tom Kha Soup In A Slow Cooker?

Yes, it is possible to make this soup in an instant pot, and it could not be easier! To start things off, you should hit the sauté button. 

Next, add a little coconut oil, onions, garlic, and allow them to cook for a little in the instant pot. Once these ingredients have been caramelized and have a strong aroma, add the rest of your ingredients to the instant pot. 

Hold back in the coconut, lime juice, and sugar, they will be added later on. Allow your ingredients to cook for about five minutes before you release the pressure. 

At this time, you can strain out the onions, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, and chilies. Simply toss in your coconut milk, sugar, and lime juice and allow your soup to heat through. Stir thoroughly and serve this soup while it is nice and hot. 

Is There A Vegan Option For Tom Kha Soup?

If you want to make this soup vegan, all you need to do is not add the dish sauce to the soup. All of the other ingredients in Tom Kha soup are vegan. So, making this soup safe for vegan people is actually quite easy!

Can You Make This Soup Whole30?

If you want to make Tom Kha soup, but you need a whole30 version, there are a few things you can do to make this soup perfect for you.

All you need to do to make this dish whole30 is make sure that you don’t add sugar to this soup, and also you will be required to use whole30 fish sauce. 

There are not a lot of brands that make whole30 fish sauce, one good opinion is a brand known as Red Boat.

On top of that, you need to make sure that the chicken broth you use is whole30, and your coconut aminos must not have any sugar in it. As long as you are careful with this, there should be no issues making this soup whole30.

Is Tom Kha Soup Good For A Cold?

The combination of ginger, shiitake mushrooms, and lemongrass are all fantastic for your immune system. Because of these delicious ingredients, this soup is perfect to help your body fight off colds and the flu. 

Are Thai Soups Healthy?

Thai cuisine is known for being one of the healthiest in the world. In fact, Tom Yum soup is being studied for its amazing health benefits. So, if you need a healthy soup to enjoy, make yourself a delicious Thai soup like Tom Kha soup.

Tom Kha Soup – How To Make Authentic Thai Coconut Soup

Recipe by Lana RiveraCourse: Uncategorized


Prep time


Cooking time





Do you want to make tom kha soup? If you are, then you need to read this article to learn everything you need to know about this authentic Thai coconut soup.


  • Coconut Oil

  • Onions 

  • Garlic Cloves 

  • Lemongrass

  • Galangal 

  • Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies

  • Kaffir Lime Leaves

  • Vegetable Broth

  • Button Mushrooms

  • Fish Sauce

  • Brown Sugar

  • Lime Juice

  • Coconut Milk 


  • Heat the Oil and Sauté the Onion and Garlic
  • Add Some Spices and the Broth
  • Let Your Soup Simmer
  • Cook Your Mushrooms
  • Add a Few Other Ingredients to the Pan
  • Add Your Garnish and Serve
Lana Rivera
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