Vegan Tom Kha (Thai Coconut Soup)

Vegan Tom Kha

Vegan Tom Kha is a satisfying and flavor-packed Thai-inspired soup made from creamy coconut milk and flavorful aromatics. It’s like a comforting hug on colder days!

What is Tom Kha?

Tom Kha Gai is a Thai coconut chicken soup infused with lemongrass and galangal. It’s creamy and vibrant with a sweet, savory, spicy, and slightly tangy flavor. In Thai, “Gai” means chicken, since this recipe is vegan, it substitutes chicken with tofu. Instead of traditional fish sauce, this recipe uses soy sauce.

It’s a must-have for any Thai food lovers with the unique flavors of Thai food and the addition of creamy coconut milk.

Why does this recipe work?

This recipe is:

  • Creamy taste and texture of the coconut milk
  • A flavor bomb of sweet, salty, spicy, and tangy and freshness from a variety of aromatics like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and lime juice.
  • Easy to make with accessible ingredients: most of the ingredients in this recipe are easily accessible

Ingredients and substitutes

Here are the ingredients for my vegan Tom Kha recipe:

Vegan Tom Kha ingredients

Aromatics: To create the base of the flavorful Tom Kha soup, the recipe uses:

  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • Thai red chili
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Lime juice
Vegan Tom Kha ingredients

The base of the soup uses vegetable broth (or you can use water), full-fat coconut milk and seasonings (soy sauce, sugar, and salt).

Substitute ingredients:

Galangal: Galangal root is a spice native to Southeast Asian cooking, it is closely related to ginger and turmeric. Galangal can be added to dishes to add a spicy, peppery sharp taste. If you don’t have access to galangal, you can use frozen or galangal paste. You can also use ginger, but note that the flavor won’t be the same.

Lemongrass: Lemongrass is a Southeast Asian herb with a lemony, earthy smell and taste. If you don’t have access to fresh lemongrass, you can use frozen or powdered lemongrass.

Carrots & Mushrooms: these vegetables are used for added sweetness and texture to the soup. Feel free to use other vegetables that you have on hand!

How to make this Vegan Tom Kha recipe

Firstly, chop the lemongrass into chunks, then lightly smash them using your knife to release the aroma. Peel the galangal then chop it into thin slices. Thinly slice the Thai red chili.

Next, sauté the aromatics in oil for a few minutes or until fragrant.

Vegan Tom Kha - saute aromatics

Add vegetable broth and coconut milk and mix well.

Vegan Tom Kha - add coconut milk

Add in the chopped carrots and mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Next, add in the tofu cubes then simmer for 5 minutes more. Season with soy sauce, salt and sugar.

Transfer the soup into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Vegan Tom Kha - serve in a bowl
Enjoy this comforting bowl!

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Vegan Tom Kha

Vegan Tom Kha (Thai Coconut Soup)

  • Author: Veggie Anh
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A satisfying sweet and spicy Thai-inspired soup made from creamy coconut milk and flavorful aromatics. It’s like a comforting hug on colder days!


Units Scale


  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 piece of galangal
  • 6 lime leaves
  • 2 Thai red chili



  1. Cut the lemongrass into chunks, and lightly smash them to release the flavors.
  2. Thinly slice the galangal, and Thai red chili. Cut the mushrooms and carrots into equal sized pieces.
  3. In a pot or shallow pan, add oil, then the lemongrass chunks, galangal and Thai red chili. Stir fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the water and coconut milk. Shred the kaffir lime leaves and add to the soup.
  5. Bring to a boil, then add in the chopped carrots and mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the seasonings (soy sauce, sugar, and salt to taste) and the fried tofu pieces. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat, then add the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix well and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: vegan tom kha, thai coconut soup, galagal, lemongrass

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