} -->

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Tom Kha Soup / Tom Yam Soup

Destination 2 - Thailand

Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 15 minutes
Total - 30 minutes

Cooking Tom Kha Soup in Bangkok

'Sawatdee Kha!' - 'Say what?' That means hello in Thai, I recently spent 2 weeks on holiday in Thailand with Kevin (bf) who is working in nearby Burma, and his family. We had an amazing time and I fell in love with the country and its friendly people. If I had to summarize what I loved most about our trip in 3 words I would say -  the culture, the scenery (ohhhh the beaches..) aaaaaand, you guessed it - the FOOD! (the cocktails weren't half bad either..) Traveling as a vegetarian or vegan can be a nightmare, but pretty much every Thai dish can be made vegetarian, you just need to watch out for the fish sauce!

We even took cooking classes at May Kaidee's vegetarian restaurant, May is a lovely Thai woman who says she grew up eating snake curry (!) and is now a passionate vegetarian who wants to bring the best of vegetarian Thai food to the world by opening restaurants in different countries. And I am sure she will be successful in doing so. Visit her website at www.maykaidee.com 

Trip to the food market in Bangkok
One of the dishes we learned to cook was Tom Kha soup, spicy, coconuty and  full of subtle flavors. This has become one of my favorite dishes of the moment and is super easy to make. Don't be daunted by the ingredients, you can easily find them at a nearby Asian store or your local supermarket. It's also a 2 in 1 recipe, if you don't like too much coconut milk and want a spicier dish then just change the following portions to 2 Tbs of coconut milk/instead of 1/4 cup and 600ml of water/instead of 500ml. Then you are making Tom Yam soup. 

This soup works as a starter or a light main meal. I've also added the recipe for homemade Tom Yam chili paste at the bottom of this blog. 

  • 2tsp canola or soya oil
  • 500ml water
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4 slices of galangal - (do not peel)
  • 2 one-inch pieces of lemon grass
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 carrot - cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 200 grams of firm tofu
  • 2 handfuls of mixed vegetables - chopped. I used mushroom, sweetcorn & broccoli.
  • 2 Tbs of soy sauce
  • 3 tsp of brown sugar
  • 1 chopped spring onion
  • 2 tsp of lime juice
  • 2 tsp of Tom Yam chili paste (you can buy premade or homemade recipe is at the bottom of this blog)*
  • 100ml of coconut milk


1. In a large wok heat the oil on high - add the pieces of tofu and fry. Turn them over with your fingers once one side is golden brown. Meanwhile prepare all your other ingredients. Remove tofu from the heat once it is ready.
3. In the wok, bring the water to a boil.
4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, galangal and lemon grass. Cook for 1 minutes.
5. Add the carrot, onion, tomato. Cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the prepared tofu and the mixed vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes. 
7. Once water is boiling add the soy sauce and sugar. Let cook a few minutes until the vegetables are tender, making sure the water doesn't reduce too much. If you need to reduce the heat slightly.
8. Remove from heat and add the spring onions, lime juice, chili paste and coconut milk. 
9. Stir and serve!

Word of the day: Sap = Thai for yummy :)

* Recipe for home made Tom Yam Chili Paste - this will make a big batch you can keep in the fridge.

  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of dried red chilies (remove the seeds if you don't want it too spicy - the smaller the chilies the spicier they are)
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 10 Tbs of soy sauce
  • 10 Tbs of brown sugar
  • 6 Tbs of vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime

  • In a saucepan heat the cup of oil (leaving 3 Tbs of oil aside), then fry the onions and carrots for a few minutes.
  • Add the garlic and the chilies and the chili powder. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and put in a blender together with 3 Tbs of oil, the soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.
  • Heat the wok again and fry the mixture, let it simmer until you see that the oil is starting to separate on top. 
  • Add the lime to taste.
  • Keep refrigerated. 

No comments:

Post a Comment