Thai Fish Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Kha Pla)

Thai Fish Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Kha Pla)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (light portion only), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal (available in the Asian section of groceries)
  • 1 pair kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced
  • 2 finger chilies diced
  • fish sauce to taste
  • 4 cups fish broth
  • bunch yard-long beans (sitaw), cut into two-inch lengths
  • 1 cup flaked fish
  • 2 cups coconut milk (fresh or canned)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons kalamansi juice (or lime or lemon juice)


  • Heat the cooking oil in a pot. Saute the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and chilies. Drizzle with fish sauce. Continue sautéing until the vegetables are soft and aromatic.
  • Pour in the fish broth. Stir. Taste. Add more fish sauce, as needed. Bring to the boil.
  • Add the yard-long beans. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer until the beans are done.
  • Add the flaked fish.
  • Pour in the coconut milk. Heat just until simmering.
  • Turn off the heat. Pour in just enough kalamansi (or lime or lemon) juice to add tang but not overwhelm the natural sweetness of the coconut milk.
  • Serve the Thai fish coconut milk soup at once. Garnish with cilantro and lime or lemon wedges.