Coconut milk is one of the staple ingredients in Thai cuisine, and it truly shines in this soup. Some of the ingredients, such as galangal and kaffir lime leaves, can be substituted for more easily found ones. However, I encourage you to gather the fresh galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves, since they do give a more authentic flavour. According to the people at EatingThaiFood.com, this soup is usually eaten with rice, like a curry.
- Omit fish sauce and add 1/2 tsp salt to make it vegan.
- Use vegetable/ chicken broth instead of water.
- Add diced chicken or whole shrimp (adjust cooking time accordingly).
- Try these other veggies: baby corn, straw mushrooms, white mushrooms, bok choy, bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, eggplant, okra.
I was very happy with how this soup turned out. The salty, sour, and spicy flavours danced on my palate as I slurped the creamy broth by the spoonful. Watercress was slightly bitter, which worked well with the rich soup. And I simply loved how the cherry tomato would burst with its warm, sweet, tomato-y juice at the first bite.
Tofu Coconut Soup
- 1.5 cups water
- 4 slices fresh or dried galangal (substitute: 4 slices fresh ginger)
- 6 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves, torn into large pieces (substitute: zest of 1 lime)
- 4 stalks lemongrass, bottom 6 inches only, bruised with back of a knife and cut into 2 inch long pieces
- 6 bird’s eye chilies, stems removed
- 350 g medium-firm tofu, 1/4 inch cubes
- 4-6 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 small bunch watercress, 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (or to taste, substitute with 1/2 tsp salt for vegan option)
- Juice of 1 lime (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- In a medium pot, bring water to boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium. If using dried galangal or lime leaves, add them first and boil for 10 minutes before adding the rest of the stock ingredients and cooking for another 15 minutes. If using fresh versions, add all ingredients at once and boil for 20 minutes.
- Strain the stock into a large soup pot, discard the seasonings.
- Bring the stock to a boil over medium-high heat, add tofu and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add shiitake mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, cook for 3 minutes.
- Add watercress and coconut milk, cook until the watercress is just wilted (3-4 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Season with fish sauce, lime, and sugar.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.