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Tom Kha Goong

Today, we're setting our compass for the vibrant flavors of Thailand and delving into the heart of Thai comfort food - Tom Kha Goong.

Recipe Video Here!

A Symphony of Ingredients:

Tom Kha Goong, often referred to as Thai Coconut Soup with shrimp, is a dish that celebrates diversity and contrasts. Let's meet some of the key players:

  • Shrimp (Goong): These plump, succulent shrimp are the stars of the show. They bring a seafood-rich, sweet umami to the soup.

  • Coconut Milk: The creamy, dreamy base of the soup, where the richness of coconut meets the zest of Thai flavors.

  • Galangal or Ginger: Often mistaken for ginger, galangal's citrusy and earthy tones are what set Tom Kha apart. Galangal makes this soup the MOST authentic. I used ginger in my recipe, it's a different but similar flavor and ginger is more readily available at grocery stores.

  • Lemongrass: This fragrant grass adds a citrusy, herbaceous element that's essential to the soup's signature aroma.

  • Bird's Eye/Thai Red Chilies: For those who dare, these fiery chilies add a Thai-spicy kick.

  • Mushrooms: To balance the soup's richness, we add earthy mushrooms, offering a delightful contrast.

  • Fish Sauce: A splash of fish sauce brings that unique Thai umami flavor, essential to Tom Kha's authenticity.

  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice provides a tangy, refreshing counterpoint to the creaminess of the coconut milk.

  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves, the herbaceous garnish that adds a burst of color and a refreshing aroma to the dish.

The Art of Crafting Tom Kha Goong:

  1. Infusion of Flavor: Begin by gently simmering galangal (or ginger), and lemongrass, in coconut milk. Let this mixture infuse.

  2. Seafood Symphony: Add the stars of the show, the shrimp, alongside mushrooms and a pinch of bird's eye chilies. Let them waltz together, with the flavors mingling and complementing each other in harmonious delight.

  3. Thai Umami: A dash of fish sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice bring the signature Thai umami to your Tom Kha Goong.

  4. A Spectacle of Colors: Serve your Tom Kha with a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro, green onions, and chili oil. They are the vibrant touches that add color, spice, and freshness to your creation.

Tom Kha Goong Recipe

Serves 2 in 30 minutes


  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 large or 2 small stalks lemongrass, cut in half and bruised with the blunt side of a knife

  • 2-3 small knobs of ginger, peeled

  • 2-3 Thai red chilis, cut in half (more if you like it SPICY!)

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1.5 teaspoons coconut sugar (brown sugar or palm sugar works)

  • 6 cherry tomatoes cut in half (or 2 plum tomatoes cut in quarters)

  • 6 oz mushrooms, sliced (I used oyster, button, baby bella, enoki work too)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • Garnishes: cilantro, green onion, chili oil, chili threads


  1. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, half of the lime juice, half of the fish sauce, Thai chilis, and and coconut sugar to your soup pot.

  2. Allow this mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, simmer 5 min.

  4. Add shrimp, simmer 5 min.

  5. Taste for seasoning; I usually use all of the fish sauce and all of the lime juice. Sometimes I end up adding a touch more coconut sugar because it brings out the coconut flavor!

  6. Remove ginger and lemongrass before serving; you don't want to bite into them, they're just for the flavor of the soup.

  7. Serve with cilantro, green onion, and whatever else you like! People who like it spicy will serve it with finely chopped Thai chilis on top but I'm a wuss about spicy food.

The Grand Finale:

With a spoon in hand, it's time to savor this culinary masterpiece. The creaminess of coconut milk, the zest of the ginger, the citrusy pop of lemongrass, and the seafood-rich umami of shrimp all come together in a lovely symphony of flavors.

Tom Kha Goong is more than just a bowl of soup; it's a journey into the heart of Thai cuisine. Each spoonful tells the tale of Thailand's rich culinary traditions and its enchanting blend of flavors and aromas. So, whether you're trying it for the first time or bringing the spirit of Thailand to your home, savor the beauty of Tom Kha Goong.

I hope you give this recipe a try whether it's your first time trying tom kha or whether you're a Thai takeout pro! Let me know if you do and how it worked out for you! You can tag me in stories or DM me on Instagram or TikTok @LizaHomsteads!


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