tom kha gai soup (thai coconut soup)

Since we moved here five years ago and rediscovered Vietnamese, we have been neglecting Thai cuisine. Actually this isn’t the only reason. As much as I love Thai food, most it is cooked with a lot of sugar. Sugar is unhealthy for most people but especially for my body, which is an optimal greenhouse for fungus).


Tom Kha Gai is a spicy coconut soup made with all kinds of aromatic Thai herbs and roots. It’s my favorite Thai dish. It’s aromatic, silky, rich, spicy, sour and mild sweet. Today on my way back home from a hike in Griffith Park, I stopped by Bangkok Market  to buy ingredients to make this soup. I bought everything but forgot  to buy the most crucial ingredient that gives this soup it’s saltiness flavor, fish sauce.  In retrospect it wasn’t a bad thing after all because now the recipe is purely vegan. To compensate for the fish sauce flavor, I added tamari, extra herbs and galangal. Instead of white sugar you can add coconut sugar or raw cane sugar 
(While writing this post I found this recipe vegan fish sauce on The Kitchn.)

Z and the boys had their soup with free-range chicken breast.


Traditional Tom Kha Gai is made with chicken and shrimp, but for a vegan version you can add non-GMO tofu, rice noodles, and/or vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and green beans.


Alex with a Kaffir lime mustache


The only reason I welcome robots with open arms

Another key ingredient I forgot to add to the soup is lemongrass but no one noticed. If it’s available, get it. It’s a magical herb that tastes like as if lime and ginger had a baby. With the rest of the lemongrass you didn’t use in your soup, you can make tea, or shave it into cakes and jams, or add it to soups or stews.


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