Tom Yum soup is one of my favorites! It’s creamy and rich, without feeling heavy because of the zesty lime and lemongrass. This heartwarming Thai coconut curry soup is loaded with aromatic herbs, earthy veggies, and has the perfect balance of sweet from the coconut and sour from the lime. You know I love any recipes that load up on flavor with minimal time and effort (then again, who doesn’t?!). And THIS is one of those meals!
Tom Kha vs Tom Yum
Both popular Thai soups are absolutely delicious and zesty, however, there are a couple of key differences. Tom Kha soup is a rich, creamy soup made with coconut milk and tender chicken. Tom Yum, on the other hand, is made with a light seafood-based broth.
Quick Hack to Flavorful Thai Coconut Curry Soup
The chicken stock is a quick hack to infuse soups with tons of flavor. It makes any dish taste like you’ve been gently simmering it all day when really you just did a quick pour of this magical broth from a store-bought carton. Then, you throw in zesty and herby aromatics and OH. MY. GOSH, magical things start to happen!
What I adore about this soup though is the contrast of sweet and comforting creamy coconut with the light and sour zing from the lime and lemongrass. It can warm the soul on any day, without making you feel heavy or sluggish, like some stews.
When my husband tasted this soup, he was so impressed with how much flavor it had and asked how long it took to make. The ingredients in this recipe marry so well together and taste like you’ve been working so hard in the kitchen to make this delicious soup.
In reality, though, we both know it took less than 30 minutes to make… But don’t worry, that secret is safe between you and me! 😉
Let's Get Cooking!
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Thai Coconut Curry Soup | Tom Kha Gai
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh thinly sliced
- ½ onion thinly sliced
- 1 - 4 Thai chilies adjust to your spice level
- 2 stalks lemongrass* white parts only, finely minced
- ¼ cup galangal sliced
- 8 oz button mushrooms sliced
- 3 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 3 - 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Heat a large pot on medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil then the chicken and cook until it's about 80% done.
- Add in onions and cook until soft. Stir in Thai chilies, lemongrass, galangal and cook for another minute or two, or until fragrant.
- Add mushrooms and fish sauce, then saute for 1 -2 minutes until mushrooms are soft.
- Pour in chicken broth and lime zest, then bring to a simmer for about 5 - 7 minutes. Finish by pouring in the coconut milk and lime juice. Turn off heat and enjoy!
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass is typically sold at Asian markets and should look fresh without any dry edges. To prep the lemongrass, peel off the tough outer layers to reveal the softer white bottom part - about the bottom third of the stalk. Cut the white part of the stalk then finely mince the lemongrass. It's important to finely cut the lemongrass, otherwise, you'll have tough chunks in your soup (and no one wants that)!
- Galangal: Galangal adds a distinct earthy flavor to the soup that makes a world of difference! I HIGHLY recommend making the effort to find it at your local Asian market.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce adds a depth of flavor along with its saltiness. It may smell pungent for first-time users, but don't let that scare you away! It blends beautifully with the rest of the ingredients.
- Chicken Broth: I highly recommend using low-sodium chicken stock so you have more control over the salt in your soup, especially since the fish sauce is also salty. If you're using regular store-bought chicken broth, add a little less fish sauce so it's not too salty. You can always add more if needed!
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.