Your Favorite Thai Soup Recipe from Thai Fresh

Tom Kha straight from Jam Sanitchat’s new cookbook

Tom Kha, with all of its magical lemongrass and Thai chiles and coconut milk creaminess, is one of the best soups on the planet. Local superstar Jam Sanitchat shares her recipe from Thai Fresh: The Cookbook.

Tom Kha from Jam Sanitchat's new Thai Fresh: The Cookbook (Photo by Jody Horton)

In our Gift Guide, Brenner writes of Sanichat’s debut book, “The gorgeous tome's packed with easy-to-follow recipes from Thai Fresh, including many of Sanitchat's family classics, and has a section on Thai vegan ice cream (as featured at Gati, the chef's latest node of noms), and the whole thing's illustrated with full-color, food-as-rockstar photography from James Beard award-winner Jody Horton. If we found this bright hardbound volume beneath our tree, we'd kiss Santa right on his mask.”

In the recipe, Sanitchat shares, “This recipe is tried and true; my dad says it’s the best coconut soup he’s ever had – and he’s not usually one to compliment.”

Coconut Soup with Exotic Mushrooms, Shrimp, and Salty-Sour Finishing Sauce

Serves 4–6


For the Finishing Sauce:

3 T. fish sauce or 21⁄2 T. light soy sauce
(add 1⁄4 t. sugar if using light soy sauce)
4 T. lime juice
1⁄2 t. minced small fresh Thai chilies (or more for a spicier soup)
1 T. cilantro leaves

For the Soup:
1 13 and ½ oz. can coconut milk
2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
6 1⁄8-inch slices galangal, bruised with the back of a knife
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, bruised with the back of a knife, then cut into 1 and 1/2-inch pieces
1 small fresh Thai chili, smashed with the side of a knife
1 shallot, cut in half, smashed with the side of a knife
3 makrut lime leaves, torn into small pieces
1 t. palm or white sugar
1⁄4 t. salt
4 c. mixed exotic mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, enoki, etc.), torn or sliced into bite-size pieces
1 and 1/2 c. peeled shrimp


To make the sauce, mix everything together in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the soup, combine the coconut milk and stock in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add everything but the mushrooms and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and shrimp and continue simmering until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and top with the finishing sauce. Before serving, remove the galangal and lemongrass pieces (or instruct guests to eat around them). Serve as an appetizer or as an entrée with rice.

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recipe, Thai Fresh, Jam Sanitchat, Tom Kha

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