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Tom Kha Phak


With the weather changing from the summer sunny mode to the onset of rains I thought it would be apt for me to do a soup post. And what better way to herald the rains than with a very flavorful Thai soup.

The Tom Kha Phak is basically a hot, sweet and sour Thai soup where the quintessential ingredient is the coconut. This soup celebrates the coconut in the form of coconut milk which is the heart and soul of this dish. It is unbelievably flavorsome with the slew of Thai ingredients that are used to make this soup. This soup can also double up as a one pot main course dish with the addition of some noodles.

I seldom cook something exotic for myself. I spend most of my time making something nice for everyone else to eat. It is not done consciously but so far that’s how it has panned out for the most part. This one particular night I had this craving to eat a Thai soup with mushrooms. And Tom Kha Phak is one of my favorites. The only thing that stood between me making the soup or not was the availability of all the ingredients that were required to make this soup.

I decided to make the soup only if I was able to source all the ingredients. For this particular soup it is of paramount importance to not skimp on any of the ingredients. By any chance if one decides to compromise on the ingredients then it’s like making a half hearted attempt at making the dish which would result in the soup being low in flavor, taste and will also not measure up to the original. The Thai Gods were extremely kind to me and I was able to get hold of all the ingredients needed to make this soup.

All the various ingredients at hand emitted a fragrant aroma that pervaded not only the kitchen but its surrounding rooms too. This was the required impetus that was needed for me to start making this one pot wonder. Based on prior experience whilst making Thai food I have been able to make yummy food only by tasting the food at every step.

Thai food is a combination of very complex ingredients blended together in a harmonious manner to create ecstasy in your taste buds. This soup is a classic example of how all the different flavour profiles of all the ingredients come together to create something so delightfully delicious.

Since the soup was a vegetarian soup the option was to use mushrooms or tofu. Both of them could be used together too but I was in the mood to slurp down a Thai mushroom soup that night so I used some chunky, meaty button mushrooms. After tasting this soup at every stage and with the inclusion of extra quantities of the same ingredients and the addition of some extra ingredients based on the tasting, the final outcome was up to my satisfaction. What contributed hugely towards the success of this soup was beyond doubt the usage of very fresh Thai ingredients. This could also be called a Thai style coconut mushroom gravy and could be enjoyed with some piping Jasmine rice or some sticky rice !!

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