Cooking for my vegetarian family, I've had good luck substituting fish sauce with fermented black bean paste, which I get at an Asian grocery store. It too is very salty and has that funky-smell-delicious-taste quality that makes fish sauce so magical.
January 21, 2011, 1:31 pm
can you use galangal? Lime leaf? Do they make a difference? I like the idea of just ginger cause it's so available.
January 21, 2011, 2:26 pm
This was fantastic! I was wondering what to have for lunch and this showed up in my inbox, I had everything, and WOW! Quick, easy, deee-liciou!
January 21, 2011, 2:42 pm
Wow, I'm so jealous of Michelle D. I'm missing all the important things (lemongrass, chicken, fish sauce) and it's 1 degree outside, so I'm not going to get them.
January 21, 2011, 2:50 pm
Christina - good call on the fermented black bean paste - a great vegetarian substitute. Paul - YES you can thrown a Kaffir lime leaf in there. It only makes it better. I haven't tried also adding galangal but why not?!
January 21, 2011, 4:02 pm
This is one of my absolute favorite recipes from Feeding the Whole Family!! It's so flavorful - love it!
January 21, 2011, 4:11 pm
Can you substitute lemongrass in a jar for the fresh? Our coop doesn't sell it fresh at least not in the winter but it's in the Asian section in a jar. Thanks!
January 21, 2011, 6:24 pm
I've never tried jarred lemongrass. Anyone else? Seems like it could work.
January 22, 2011, 11:04 am
This soup is sooo yummy! I've been wanting to make it ever since I bought your cookbook. Last week I finally saw lemon grass in our grocery store :) Thanks for the how to video. And thanks to my baby girl for napping long enough for me to make it.
January 24, 2011, 1:31 pm
I made this last night and it was SUPER yummy! I did use about a 1/4 cup of the jarred lemongrass, minus the liquid that came in it. I wanted to make sure that no other flavors besides the lemongrass was included in the recipe. It turned out great and my picky husband LOVED! Thank you Cynthia!
January 26, 2011, 12:40 pm
Cynthia, it's time again for our appreciation weekend and this is on our list to make for the weekend. i am trying to decide on one or two other recipes of yours to make as well!!!....maybe fish tacos?? What's your favorite dinner dish?
January 27, 2011, 2:18 pm
Oh my goodness Sara. So hard to pick something out. What I'm excited to cook changes like the weather. I do love the fish tacos. Sometimes a teriyaki sounds just right. I also adore Indian food so I'm up for the Chickpea Vegetable Curry with Raita or the Chicken Tikka Masala... Your appreciation means so much to us!
January 28, 2011, 9:08 am
Cookus gang, This soup was amazing and the best treat was meeting Steve that night!!! I laughed so hard I cried! So so great!
February 7, 2011, 2:40 pm
OH MAH WORD!! This was simply fantastic...my Husband said that this was better than any he had had in a restaurant (of course, we are in Virginia)My new years resolution was to simply eat more veggies...that is how I found your website. Oh how I love your fun non-preachy whole foods recipes and improv demos! Keep it up...I love watching! Question...is there an order one could watch the videos so that you can get the character development better?
February 15, 2012, 12:36 pm
Looks like a great recipe but what can I substitute for lemongrass? I live in a semi-rural area where grocery stores do not carry exotic Asian ingredients.
February 16, 2012, 1:55 pm
I LOVE tom ka, and have made it many times. Thank You for posting this lovely recipe, Cynthia! I would suggest not necessarily using galangal and ginger together (although you wouldn't get arrested), but I would never think of making it without kaffir lime leaves or mushrooms. My favorite version to make and eat includes scallops and prawns as well. Sriricha is a condiment that goes hand-in-glove with tom ka. Now I need to make some! mmmmmmmmmmmm
February 16, 2012, 3:18 pm
Phyllis, try adding a teaspoon of lemon or lime zest to replace the lemongrass.
February 16, 2012, 4:32 pm
How did you know I was going to make this today? I got all the ingredients the other day after finding it in your archives and just today I received your prompt in my inbox. Clearly, it was meant to be. This soup is delicious!
February 16, 2012, 8:23 pm
First of all, I discovered this site when I was searching for a recipe that would turn me into a kale lover. Found it! The massaged kale salad is now a staple in my house. I watch these videos all the time now! I'm wondering if I could cut up and saute a giant white chantrelle mushroom instead of the chicken. I'm toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian. I can't wait to make this soup!
November 1, 2012, 11:12 pm