Sunday, July 31, 2022

Tofu Tom Kha Soup for Cook the Books June/July Selection: A Cook's Tour & Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Hello Friends! It's been a while again I am afraid. Still not doing much in the kitchen but, every now and then, I pop in and make something I am craving like this Tofu Tom Kha Soup inspired by Thailand and my book-inspired dish for Cook the Books and our June/July pick of A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines (or my e-book's subtitle: In Search of the Perfect Meal) by Anthony Bourdain, hosted by Claudia of Honey From Rock. (See her post here)

According to Goodreads (as I wasn't sure) I first read A Cook's Tour back in 2002. I was a bit shocked that it was 20 years ago, which made my reread of it almost like reading it for the first time. This time, having lost the great Anthony Bourdain in 2018, it was a very bittersweet journey through the pages. Also, although lapsed at times, my mostly vegetarian lifestyle probably led me to squirm a little more while reading it (poor little piggy, especially...) than when I was a full-blown carnivore. I was happy to revisit Bourdain's stellar food writing. Although he is rough around the edges, his love and respect for food and food traditions and his ability to make even the dubious to downright nasty sound anywhere from possibly edible to downright delicious are unmatched. I especially enjoyed his times in Asia--Vietnam and Cambodia where I have not journeyed yet to Tokyo where I spent a lot of time but not as adventurously as Bourdain. I really think you can't go wrong with any of Bourdain's books or shows, as sad as they are to read and watch with him gone. The world truly lost a talent and I appreciated getting him back for a bit with this book. 

For my dish inspiration, I was going to make a Vegetarian Pho Soup based on Bourdain's Vietnam travels. but at the last minute I was really craving Thai flavors and creamy coconut milk so I tossed together a Tofu Tom Kha Soup. It's not traditional and I took some shortcuts but it totally hit the spot. 

Quick and Easy Tofu Tom Kha Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes About 4 Servings)

2 Tbsp peanut oil or other cooking oil
2 lemongrass stalks, peeled and bruised (or 1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Lemon Grass Paste)
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated (or 2 cubes Dorot frozen crushed ginger)
1- 2 Tbsp Thai Yellow or Red Curry Paste
4 cup non-chicken/vegetable stock

4-5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 can baby corn
1 can straw mushrooms 
8-oz tofu pressed and cubed (or 1 package Nasoya Baked Sesame Ginger Tofu, 7 oz
1 pinch brown sugar

2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk
400 ml canned coconut milk
fresh lime juice to taste
Thai basil to garnish

Add the peanut oil to a large pot over medium heat and add lemongrass stalks and ginger. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add curry paste and cook another minute or two. 
Pour the stock into the pot and add the kaffir lime leaves, carrots, baby corn, and mushrooms and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the tofu, sugar, and soy sauce and cook another 5 minutes. 

Reduce heat add the coconut milk and stir for 2 minutes, not letting it boil. Add lime lime juice to taste. Serve with chopped Thai basil and enjoy!

Notes/Results: I love Thai soups--the blend of creamy and tangy with the lime leaves and juice so this was a great way to avoid takeout. The shortcuts came from the pantry--the curry paste, canned baby corn and straw mushrooms, and the freezer and fridge--lemon grass paste, cubes of frozen ginger and pre-marinated and baked tofu. All added lots of flavor. I am a mild spice person, especially lately since COVID and a newish asthma inhaler did a number on my taste buds, but you could certainly add more curry paste or a Thai chili or two if you want to up the spice level. I will make this again. 

Today (7/31/22) is the deadline for this round of Cook the Books and Claudia will be compiling all the entries on the Cook the Book site. If you missed this round and like food and books and foodie books, join us for August/September when we will be reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats

We have a few friends who have been waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen for quite a while now! Let's take a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared Coleslaw Macaroni Salad and said, "This salad combines two old fashioned picnic favorites: coleslaw and macaroni salad! Does it get better than that? ... Think of this salad for guests with special eating needs. It meets gluten-free, vegan, dairy -free and kosher-parve standards. It can be made quickly and stored in the refrigerator for at least 2 days."

Melynda of Scratch Made Food brought French Lentil Salad and says, "French Lentil Salad is a taste of springtime! Yes you read that right, this lentil salad with fresh vegetables and a light vinaigrette is light, delicious and the perfect salad to make right now!"

Debra of Eliot's Eats made Nicoise Style Chopped Salad, saying, "The farm bag delivery is the highlight of my Tuesdays. Most of the recipes that they feature are great. This one is pretty darn tasty (even though all the ingredients were not included in the bag). In hindsight, I should have thrown in the sliced mushrooms that came that week. (Please note the original recipe calls for Kalamata olives. Not having any, I left them out. I did add a few more capers to adjust.)"

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared Potato Salad Two Ways, saying, "This is a decent potato salad which is easy to prepare. Doug liked it (and he doesn't like potato salad) so I am going to call this a win. Here is a snap of the dish before the sour cream was added.  It could be served warm like this.Here it is chilled with the sour cream added.  Winner either way, just depends if you like a warm or chilled salad."

Thank you, Judee, Melynda, Debra and Tina for joining me and being patient while I got around to posting. 

If you'd like to join in Souper Sundays, I am opening up the below link for two weeks.

Anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the two weeks and I will post a recap of the entries on Sunday in two weeks.) 

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.  

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
8/14/22 Update! Extending one more week! Use this link and I'll combine both in a recap post. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. It's Judee (it won't let me add my name) - As soon as I saw this soup today, I knew I would be trying it soon. It sounds amazing. Vietnamese cuisine is one of my favorites especially pho!

  2. What a comforting and healing soup, with all the Thai flavor on top of that! Sounds just delicious and I'm ready for a bowlful now.

  3. Glad you joined us. This soup sounds flavorful and amazing.

  4. Happy to see your post. The pig slaughter part of the book was horrifying! Good comforting soup, Deb.

  5. I love anything Thai-based, but have to say tofu is not my cup of tea. In any case I enjoyed seeing your reaction to the book and this dish that it inspired

  6. I totally understand craving taking over, particularly in the soup department. The next time I see lemongrass stalks I'll grab some and come back to your recipe :)

  7. I got my link in just in time. My blogging mojo went away and now, I hope, it's back! I hope you are well :-)


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