Tom Ka is a delicious Thai Coconut Chicken Soup with red curry, lemon grass, fish sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, and is one of my most favorite soups. Tom Ka is usually served with white rice. What I usually do though is substitute white rice for quinoa, because, I really love quinoa!
When making this Thai coconut chicken soup, it's very important to use lemon grass. In this recipe, for lemon grass, I used frozen chopped lemon grass that is usually sold in Asian stores. You can also use 1 dried lemongrass stalk sold in most stores. If you use frozen chopped grass like I did (see the photo), it basically blends in with the soup and you eat it with the Tom Ka soup. But if you use a lemon grass stalk, of course, you'll need to take it out after your soup is fully cooked.
I used uncooked chicken breast. You can use cooked chicken breast - if you do, then add sliced cooked chicken breast during the last 10 minutes of cooking the Tom Ka soup.
Serve this Thai coconut chicken soup with rice or quinoa. To cook quinoa, in a medium size pan, bring 2 cups of water to boil, add 1 cup of quinoa, and cook quinoa for about 15 minutes until quinoa is fluffy but not too soft, it should be somewhat "al dente".
In fact, whenever we order Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese, we don't even use the white rice that comes with it any more - I usually cook some quinoa.
Quinoa has long been one of my favorite foods, because I like its flavor and I much rather use quinoa than just plain white rice. Quinoa has a relatively high amount of protein. Quinoa is also a good source of fiber, gluten-free and is easy to digest.
.... And, I have about 10 pounds of quinoa in my pantry. My husband bought it in bulk some time ago as he thought the bulk price for 10 pounds of quinoa was too good to pass. Now I am stuck with a lot of quinoa in my pantry! It's good I made some Tom Ka soup!
Here is the red curry paste I used and the frozen chopped lemon grass I used to make this Thai coconut chicken soup.
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup - Tom Ka
- 14 oz coconut milk (1 can)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons lemon grass (ground), or 1 lemon grass stalk
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 5 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 0.7 lb chicken breast , uncooked, thinly sliced
- ½ cup mushrooms , sliced
- 1 red bell pepper , sliced
- 3 green onions , diced (optional)
- ⅓ cup grape tomatoes , each one sliced in half (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley , chopped (optional)
- Heat coconut milk and chicken stock in a large pan and bring to boil.
- Reduce to medium heat, add red curry paste, lemon grass, fresh lemon juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, stir well. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add uncooked sliced chicken breast, sliced mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, and let the soup simmer for 20 more minutes. The soup should thicken slightly and the chicken should be completely cooked through. (if chicken is not cooked through, simmer a little longer, or increase heat)
- When soup has simmered for at least 30 minutes and mushrooms are well-cooked through, and the chicken is cooked through, the soup is ready to serve!
- Serve the soup topped with chopped green onions (optional), chopped fresh parsley (optional) and sliced grape tomatoes (optional). Serve with rice or quinoa.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
It sounds delicious! What type of mushrooms do you recommend and how many?
Thanks, Erica! I used regular mushrooms here (button mushrooms) that are sold in most grocery stores. 1 cup of finely sliced button mushrooms should be enough.
Can you fall in love with soup? Love this soup. I cut the brown sugar way down its still SOOO good though.
Glad to hear that! It's one of my favorite soups!
My favorite curry soup! Looks delicious and beautifully photographed!
Debs @ The Spanish Wok
Hi Julia, don't we all love this soup. Think it must be one of the most famous soups ever and everyone's favourite too. Thanks for submitting to The Soup Kitchen Event it's great to have newbies.
Love your bowls too. I really must try quinoa oneday.
You're welcome. I think it's great that you host such events.
I love that soup, but I can't even look at it w/o thinking I may be catching a cold. It's my go to cure for the sniffles. GREG
Tom Ka is by far my favorite Asian soup. And I, too, like to eat those soups when I catch a cold, perhaps with some extra chilli in it.