Tom Kha Ja (Coconut Ginger Vegetable Soup)

Tom Kha Ja (Coconut Ginger Vegetable Soup)

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  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 ounces tofu, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 8 button mushrooms, stems removed and diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 Thai or serrano chile peppers, smashed
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and smashed
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 8 pieces and smashed
  • 8 lime leaves, or peel of 1 lime
  • 4 shallots, trimmed, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream (the top layer on canned coconut milk)


Heat a wok and add 3 tablespoons of the oil; fry tofu until all sides have a golden crust. Remove tofu and set aside. In the same wok with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, sauté carrot, onion and mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Place the vegetable mixture in a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

When water comes to a boil, stir in chile peppers, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves or peel and shallots. Let boil for 5 minutes, than add zucchini, corn and jalapeño and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in salt, coconut milk and lime juice.

To serve the soup, divide equally among 6 soup bowls, add tofu and garnish with cilantro and 1 teaspoon of coconut cream.

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