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Vegetarian tom kha soup in a bowl on the table.

The Best Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup Recipe

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  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This best Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup with tofu has all the unique flavors of galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and Tom Kha paste in a harmonious blend. This soup is easily adaptable to a vegan Tom Kha soup by swapping out one or two ingredients.


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Tom Kha Paste. Add more as needed at the last step for more flavors. Get store-bought paste at Asian markets or online here and here
  • 4 cups broth or stock. Vegetables, chicken, or beef stock/broth are all fine.  Use low-salt options if available. 
  • 3 slices galangal, and smash with a heavy object to release oils. 
  • 3 stalk lemongrass, chop into 4-inch pieces, and smash with a heavy object to release oils. 
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn into large pieces. 
  • 3 cups vegetable medley. Use any vegetable of your choice.
  • 14 oz firm tofu, crispy fried
  • 3 tablespoons oil for frying the tofu.
  • 16 ouches dried rice noodles. Soak in warm water until soft
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Soak the noodles according to package instructions or until the noodles are soft and pliable. Drain and set aside.
  2. Make the crispy tofu. On medium heat, add oil to a pan. Once hot, add the tofu, and do not touch or turn the pieces until the tofu is lightly brown. Then, turn the pieces over and fry the other side until you have a crispy tofu. Cook about 4-5 minutes per side. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper for a little seasoning. 
  3. Build the broth. Slice the galangal into thin slices. Crush the lemongrass stalk for maximum flavor release using the back of a knife. Tear the kaffir lime leaves to release their aroma. In a large pot, on medium-high heat, add the galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves and Tom Kha paste. 
  4. Add vegetable Broth. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  5. Season the broth with fish sauce and sugar. Add a little first and more as needed.
  6. Add vegetables. Add all the vegetable medley to the simmering broth. Cook until the vegetables are tender. 5-6 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk. Add the canned coconut milk, stir, and cook for 2 more minutes. 
  8. Add the crispy tofu and lime juice last. Stir together and season with more fish sauce, sugar, or lime juice until you are happy with the flavors. Add chilis or hot peppers here if you prefer more heat. Turn the heat off and get ready to assemble your bowl of soup.
  9. Portion out the noodles to serving bowls, this recipe will serve 5-6 person. Ladle the soup over the noodles, garnish, and enjoy hot!

Garnish your Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup with fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, a drizzle of chili oil, and a lime wedge for extra flavor.


  • Adjust the level of spiciness by adding Thai chilies.
  • Use a slotted spoon to fish out galangal and lemongrass stalks before serving to prevent guests from biting into the hard, fibrous pieces.
  • For a vegan version, substitute fish sauce with vegan fish sauce or soy sauce.
  • The soup tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld.

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  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai