This is one of my favourite go-to's for a really easy midweek recipe because let's face it, by the time I get home all I really want to do is pull on my holey track pants, cuddle the fur-child and get reacquainted with my couch. I usually have most of the ingredients on hand for this already, the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal come frozen from my asian grocer in bulk and live in my freezer so it is usually just the tofu, fresh mushrooms and broccoli that I need to pick up fresh for this recipe.
With a creamy coconut base and the delicate flavours of lemongrass and lime, a bowl of this Tom Kha is sure to transport you to a balmy evening, lounging in a cafe in Thailand surrounded by palm trees. Well maybe not exactly, but pretty close! Typically Tom Kha Gai is made with chicken but I have substituted it for silken tofu and lovely button mushrooms because it is such a delicious flavour combination that is so dreamy in the coconut base.
As with so many asian dishes, a traditional Tom Kha Gai uses fish sauce to impart a deep flavour to the soup, however I have given two options here so that if you follow a fully plant based diet, substitute the fish sauce for the vegan not-so-fishy sauce. Ingredients and how-to are below the main recipe. Prepare this before you begin to make the Tom Kha Gai or you can make it in advance so that its ready to go.
400ml (1 can) coconut milk
400ml (1 can) coconut cream
500ml vegetable stock
300gm silken tofu
8 red shallots
2 handfuls of mushrooms, white button or crimini are perfect
1/2 a small head of broccoli
4 stalks of lemongrass, sliced on angle
40gm galangal*, thinly sliced
5 kaffir lime leaves*, coarsely torn
2-4 thai red chillies, sliced on angle
2-3 Tbsp lime juice, or to taste
2 tsp palm sugar, or to taste
4 Tbsp fish sauce or Not-fish sauce**, to taste
- In a pot, combine coconut milk, coconut cream and stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add galangal, thinly sliced shallots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies and broccoli.
- After a few minutes once the broccoli has just begun to soften, add the mushrooms and cubed tofu.
- Gently stir in fish sauce/ not-fishy sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Be careful not to break up the tofu. Taste and adjust the flavours to taste.
- Serve immediately.
* find these at your local asian grocery store. Sometimes they come in the frozen section.
** Basic vegan not-so-fishy sauce recipe = 1 part soy sauce + 2 parts shiitake vegetable broth
Not-so-fishy Sauce Recipe
1 cup vegetable broth
3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms or any dried mushroom that you have on hand
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
Bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to the boil.
Remove from heat and add to a bowl of 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms to rehydrate. Steep for 20 minutes.
nb. Shiitake have one of the best flavours for this and are always easy to find dried at an asian grocer.
Strain and set aside mushrooms for another recipe or you can slice and add them to the Tom Kha Gai.
Add 2/3 cup of mushroom vegetable broth to 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari. Store in fridge for up to 1 week o r in the freezer for up to 3 months.