Coconut Lemongrass Shrimp Soup (Tom Kha Gai)
I was really skeptical about this soup when I first had it at a Thai restaurant in Los Angeles 10 years ago. It was 3am in the morning, the restaurant was packed, and the menu was completely foreign to me.
Just the first taste told me that I had definitely picked a winner. It was amazing – so flavorful, so creamy, and omg so spicy!
I finished the entire bowl despite the fact that it was way too spicy for me. It was just that good!
That soup I ordered was Tom Kha Gai, which translates to “Chicken Galangal Soup.”
Although this soup is typically made with chicken meat, I have seen seafood versions of it at restaurants. So, when Wellness Meats sent me some Wild-Caught Raw Brown Shrimp, I knew they’d go perfectly with this soup.
The Traditional Recipe
Traditional Tom Kha Gai recipes typically call for slightly different ingredients (like galangal and kaffir lime leaves). I’ve only ever seen galangal sold once (in an Asian supermarket in Altanta!), and I’ve never seen kaffir lime leaves, so this is my slightly modified version. If you have access to those ingredients then definitely use them!
- 16 Wellness Meats Wild-Caught Raw Brown Shrimp (approx. 1lb - these are pretty big shrimp)
- 2 or 3 cups of coconut cream (skim the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk - use 2 or 3 cans depending on how creamy and thick you want the soup)
- 1 quart (32 oz) chicken stock
- 3 large button mushrooms sliced (traditional recipe uses straw or shiitake mushrooms)
- 1 lemongrass stalk, split down the center and then chopped into 2-inch long chunks
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated (traditional recipe uses thin slices of galangal)
- 1 small Thai chili (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons fish sauce (I use this one)
- juice for ½ a lime
- salt to taste
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Heat the chicken stock in a medium-sized pot and add in the lemongrass, ginger, chili, mushrooms, fish sauce, and lime juice.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in the coconut cream and simmer for another 10 minutes until the coconut cream mixes in well.
- Taste the broth and add in salt to taste. Add in more fish sauce, lime juice, or coconut cream depending on how you like the soup.
- Add in the shrimp and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Serve immediately with the cilantro as garnish.