Vegan Tom Kha Recipe – Authentic Thai Essence To Try

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I prepare a vegan Tom Kha recipe, a sought-after Thai soup with rich coconut milk and fragrant lemongrass. It’s a homemade solution for a hearty meal. The soup features tofu and mushrooms, offering a robust texture. A hint of lime adds zest. This dish is great for health-conscious diners. It’s frequently a top pick for its tantalizing flavors and simple preparation.


  • The addition of creamy coconut milk and lemongrass creates a creamy, aromatic base without dairy.
  • Tofu and mushrooms offer satisfying, meat-free protein and texture.
  • Lime juice and cilantro bring a fresh, zesty flavor to balance the richness.
  • It’s a homemade solution that’s easy to prepare with commonly available ingredients.
  • This vegan version provides a nutritious, flavorful meal for health-conscious individuals.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

My vegan Tom Kha soup is a homemade, comforting dish that brings the essence of Thai cuisine right to your kitchen. It combines the creamy richness of coconut milk with the aromatic punch of lemongrass and galangal root, creating an inviting and complex base. 

Tofu and mushrooms add texture and depth, making the soup a hearty, protein-rich meal. Adding lime juice and fresh cilantro introduces a refreshing zest, perfectly balancing the flavors.

This vegan recipe is a sought-after solution for those looking to solve the problem of finding delicious, plant-based options. It’s easy to prepare and utilizes frequently available ingredients, making it a top pick for any day of the week.

tom kha recipe vegan

What Is Vegan Tom Kha?

Vegan Tom Kha is a plant-based version of the classic Thai soup known for its rich and aromatic flavors. It swaps traditional animal products for tofu and mushrooms, maintaining the soup’s hearty texture.

Coconut milk, lemongrass, and galangal form its creamy and fragrant base, while lime juice and cilantro add a refreshing lemon zest. This homemade dish is a sought-after choice for nutritious, vegan options.

It’s easy to prepare, making it a top pick for a comforting meal satisfying cravings for exotic flavors without compromising health principles.

Fact – Vegan Tom Kha soup uses coconut milk and lemongrass, offering a creamy texture and a citrusy aroma without dairy, making it a sought-after choice for vegan diets.

Vegan Tom Kha

Recipe Directions


  • Pre-chop all vegetables for a smoother cooking process.

Saute Aromatics

  • In a large nonstick pot, combine the sliced or diced white onion, grated galangal or ginger, minced garlic, fresh lemongrass (if available), and minced Thai chilies.
  • Optionally, use some oil or add a little water to prevent sticking.
  • Saute over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until the mixture becomes fragrant.
  • Add the Thai red curry paste and lemongrass paste (if using it instead of fresh lemongrass). Continue stirring for another 1-2 minutes.

Add Mushrooms And Bell Pepper

  • Introduce the chopped shiitake mushrooms and sliced red bell pepper to the pot.
  • Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash of water as needed to prevent sticking.

Add Broth

  • Pour in the vegan chicken or veggie broth and coconut milk. Reduce the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a high simmer.
  • Add the cubed tofu and cook for about 6-8 minutes, letting the flavors meld.

Prepare The Noodles

  • If using rice vermicelli noodles, soak or cook them in a separate pot according to package instructions.

Finish The Soup

  • Stir in the coconut sugar (optional) and lime juice, adjusting the quantities to taste.
  • Warm the mixture for a minute or two, then remove from heat.


  • Serve the soup hot, adding noodles to each bowl if desired.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions, cilantro, and lime wedges to enhance flavor.


  • To prevent the noodles from absorbing all the broth, store the sour soup and noodles separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations And Add-Ons

  • Vegetables: Incorporate other vegetables like broccoli, snap peas, or spinach for added nutrients and color.
  • Plant-Based Protein: Besides tofu, consider adding tempeh or chickpeas for extra protein.
  • Mushrooms: Experiment with button or oyster mushrooms for varying textures and flavors.
  • Broth: For a deeper flavor, you could mix vegan chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth.
  • Spiciness: Adjust the heat by increasing or reducing the amount of Thai red curry paste or adding more Thai chilies.
  • Noodles: Switch the noodles using udon, soba, or even zucchini noodles for a low-carb option.

Variations And Add-Ons


  • Herbs: Fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and mint add freshness and aroma.
  • Lime Wedges: Serving with extra lime wedges lets individuals adjust the sourness to their liking.
  • Chili Oil or Flakes: For those who appreciate an extra kick, chili oil or red pepper flakes make great additions.
  • Crushed Peanuts: Add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts.
  • Bean Sprouts: Offer a crisp, refreshing contrast to the creamy soup.
  • Fried Garlic or Shallots: Top the soup with fried garlic or shallots for a burst of flavor and crunch.


Vegetable Substitutions 

  • Cauliflower for chicken: Its meaty texture mimics chicken in soups and stews.
  • Jackfruit for pulled pork: Its ability to shred like meat makes it perfect for tacos and sandwiches.
  • Mushrooms (especially portobello and shiitake) for beef: They provide a rich, umami flavor suitable for burgers and gravy.
  • Lentils for ground meat: Ideal in bolognese and chili, offering protein and heartiness.
  • Eggplant for fish: When baked or grilled, it has a tender texture suitable for fish-like dishes.
  • Zucchini for noodles: Makes a low-carb, nutritious pasta substitute.
  • Chickpeas for tuna: Salads and sandwiches offer a satisfying texture and are rich in protein.
  • Butternut Squash for cheese: Purely creates a creamy, sweet base for vegan cheese sauces.

Quick Tip – For a richer Vegan Tom Kha, roast your mushrooms and red bell peppers before adding them to the soup. This enhances their flavors and adds a smoky depth.

Vegetable Substitutions 

Best Side Dishes

  1. Spring Rolls Fresh or fried, filled with vegetables, vermicelli noodles, and tofu, served with a sweet chili sauce.
  2. Jasmine Rice The subtle floral aroma of jasmine rice pairs wonderfully with the bold flavors of Tom Kha, providing a comforting base.
  3. Quinoa Salad A light, nutritious option with a mix of colorful vegetables dressed in a lime vinaigrette to echo the soup’s citrus notes.
  4. Steamed Bok Choy This simple and healthy soup is dressed with a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil to complement its complexity.
  5. Thai Mango Salad The sweet and spicy profile of a mango salad balances the creamy richness of the soup.
  6. Cucumber Salad This refreshing side dish, often with a vinegar-based dressing, adds a crisp contrast to the creamy soup.
  7. Sticky Rice Perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth, sticky rice can also help tone down the spiciness if needed.
  8. Grilled Vegetables Charred broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini offer a smoky flavor that pairs nicely with the soup’s aromatic qualities.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve? 

  • Soup Course: Serve vegan Tom Kha as a comforting and aromatic soup course to start a Thai-inspired meal garnished with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime.
  • Main Dish: Enjoy vegan Tom Kha as a hearty main course, served over steamed rice or noodles, with added vegetables, tofu, or mushrooms for extra texture and flavor.
  • Lunch Option: Pack vegan Tom Kha in a thermos for a warm and satisfying lunch on the go, accompanied by a side of rice or crusty bread for dipping.
  • Appetizer: Serve smaller portions of vegan Tom Kha in shot glasses or small bowls as an elegant appetizer at dinner parties or gatherings.
  • Side Dish: Use vegan Tom Kha as a flavorful sauce or dressing for cooked vegetables, tofu, or grains to add a Thai-inspired twist to your favorite side dishes.

Quick Tip – To deepen the flavor of Vegan Tom Kha, simmer the soup with a stalk of bruised lemon grass and a few makrut lime leaves. Remove before serving.

vegan Tom Kha

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Cool Quickly: To prevent bacterial growth, allow the soup to cool to room temperature quickly. Please do not leave it out for more than 2 hours.
  • Separate Components: Store the noodles separately from the soup to prevent them from becoming soggy. This is especially important if you’ve added rice vermicelli noodles, as they tend to absorb liquid and can become mushy.
  • Airtight Containers: Store the soup in airtight containers. This helps maintain its flavor and prevents it from absorbing odors from other foods in your refrigerator.
  • Refrigeration: If you plan to eat the soup within 3-5 days, store it in the refrigerator. The cold temperature slows down the growth of bacteria.
  • Freezing: Vegan Tom Kha can be frozen for longer storage. Freeze in portion-sized containers for easy thawing. Remember, the texture of some vegetables may change upon freezing and thawing.
  • Reheating: When ready to eat, reheat the soup gently over the stove. If it has thickened upon storage, you might need to add a little water or vegetable broth to adjust the consistency.
  • Add Freshness: Before serving the reheated soup, consider adding fresh herbs like cilantro or a squeeze of lime to bring back the soup’s vibrant flavors.

Fact: Galangal, a key ingredient in Vegan Tom Kha, is not just a flavor enhancer; it has been used in traditional Asian medicine for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.

vegan Tom Kha Recipe

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables in Advance: Chop all your vegetables and aromatics beforehand and store them in the refrigerator in airtight containers. This speeds up the cooking process significantly.
  2. Use Pre-Made Broth: Instead of making your own broth, opt for high-quality store-bought vegan broth. This will save time and still provide a flavorful base for your soup.
  3. Lemongrass Paste: If fresh lemongrass is hard to come by or time-consuming to prepare, use lemongrass paste. It’s a great time-saver and still imparts a similar flavor.
  4. Frozen Vegetables: Don’t hesitate to use frozen vegetables. They’re pre-cut and can be added directly to the pot, saving prep time.
  5. One-Pot Cooking: To minimize cleanup time, cook the entire dish in one large pot. Add ingredients in stages to build flavor without needing multiple pans.
  6. Batch Cooking: Make a larger quantity of the soup than needed. It stores well and can be a quick meal for another day, saving you cooking time later in the week.
  7. Quick-Soak Noodles: If using rice vermicelli noodles, opt for the quick-soak varieties that only need hot water. This avoids the need for prolonged boiling.
  8. Garnishes: Buy pre-chopped cilantro and sliced green onions if available. This cuts down on prep time for garnishes.
Vegan Tom Kha Recipe - Authentic Thai Essence To Try

Vegan Tom Kha Recipe – Authentic Thai Essence To Try

Recipe by Julia

Vegan Tom Kha is a fragrant and comforting Thai soup made with coconut milk and aromatic herbs like lemongrass and galangal. It’s filled with tofu and vegetables. This delicious, plant-based twist on the traditional recipe offers a creamy texture and a complex balance of spicy, sour, and sweet flavors.

Course: Appetizers
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4 – 6

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  • 1 sliced or diced 1 Small white onion

  • 2 inches, grated 2 Galangal or ginger

  • To taste, minced Thai chilies

  • 1 stalk 1 Fresh lemongrass or lemongrass paste

  • 2-3 teaspoons 2-3 Thai red curry paste

  • 1 pound, chopped 1 Shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 halved and thinly sliced 1 Large red bell pepper

  • 4 cups 4 Vegan chicken broth

  • 2 cans 2 Coconut milk

  • 2 16-oz blocks, 2 Extra firm tofu

  • uice of 2-ish limes Lime juice

  • 2-3 tablespoons 2-3 Coconut sugar

  • To garnish Green onions and cilantro

  • 3 – 4 3 – 4 Kaffir lime leaves

  • 3 cloves 3 Garlic

  • 8 oz 8 Rice vermicelli noodles


  • Saute Aromatics
  • Combine Ingredients: In a large nonstick pot, add sliced or diced white onion, grated galangal or ginger, minced garlic, fresh lemongrass (if available), and minced Thai chilies. Optionally, use a bit of oil or water to prevent sticking.
  • Saute: Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then, add Thai red curry paste and lemongrass paste (if using) and continue stirring for another 1-2 minutes.tom kha recipe vegan
  • Add Mushrooms and Bell Pepper
  • Introduce Vegetables: Add chopped shiitake mushrooms and sliced red bell pepper to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add water as necessary to avoid sticking.
  • Add Broth
  • Combine Liquids: Pour in vegan chicken or vegetable broth and coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium, bringing the soup to a high simmer.
  • Add Tofu: Incorporate cubed tofu and cook for about 6-8 minutes, allowing flavors to blend.tom kha recipe vegan
  • Prepare the Noodles
  • Noodles: If using rice vermicelli noodles, prepare them in a separate pot per the package’s instructions.tom kha recipe vegan
  • Finish the Soup
  • Season: Mix in coconut sugar (optional) and lime juice, adjusting to taste. Warm the mixture for a couple of minutes, then remove from medium heat.
  • Serve
  • Presentation: Serve Thai coconut chicken soup hot, adding noodles to each bowl if using. Enhance with garnishes of sliced green onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.tom kha recipe vegan
  • Storage
  • Refrigeration: Keep soup and noodles in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Meal Prep: Ideal for meal prep, the soup reheats well for a quick lunch or dinner. Pack lime wedges and cilantro for garnishing before serving.
  • Equipments List
  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Grater or Microplane
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Can Opener
  • Ladle
  • Citrus Juicer
  • Storage Containers
  • Fine Mesh Strainer


  • Use light canned coconut milk for a lower-calorie option.
  • Press tofu before cooking to remove excess water for better flavor absorption.
  • Fresh lemongrass and galangal significantly enhance the soup’s authenticity and flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of Thai red curry paste to control the soup’s spiciness.
  • Lime juice adds a necessary acidic balance; adjust according to taste.
  • Store noodles and soup separately to prevent noodles from becoming soggy.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs right before serving to maintain their vibrant color and aroma.
  • Vegan chicken broth enriches the soup’s base; “Better Than Bouillon” is recommended.

Nutrition Table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Tom Kha Gluten-Free?

Yes, Vegan Tom Kha can easily be made gluten-free by ensuring that all the ingredients you use are certified gluten-free, particularly the soy sauce (if used), Thai red curry paste, and vegan chicken broth.

Opt for tamari instead of soy sauce as a gluten-free alternative. Always read labels to confirm the gluten-free status of your ingredients.

How Can I Make My Vegan Tom Kha More Flavorful?

To enhance the flavor of your Vegan Tom Yum soup, ensure you use fresh lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves if available, as they impart a more authentic and vibrant taste.

Roasting your mushrooms and bell peppers before adding them to the soup can also add depth. Adjusting Thai red curry paste, lime juice, and coconut sugar levels can help balance the flavors to your preference.

Vegan Tom kha Recipe

What Are The Best Protein Options For Vegan Tom Kha?

Extra-firm tofu is the most popular protein choice for Vegan Tom Kha due to its texture and ability to absorb flavors. However, you can also use tempeh or chickpeas as alternative protein sources. Each adds a unique texture and nutritional profile to the dish.

How Long Can I Store Vegan Tom Kha In The Refrigerator?

Vegan Tom Kha can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in airtight containers. Store the noodles separately from the broth to preserve the best texture and flavor, and combine them only when ready to serve.

Can Vegan Tom Kha Be Frozen For Later Use?

Yes, you can freeze Vegan Tom Kha, except for the noodles, which may become mushy upon thawing. Freeze the soup in airtight containers or freezer bags, leaving some space for expansion.

It’s best consumed within 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove, adding fresh lime juice and herbs to refresh the flavors before serving.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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