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+ servings

Tom Kha Pla (Thai Fish Coconut Cream Soup)

Recipe by Connie Veneracion
For best results, buy a whole fish and have it filleted by the monger. Bring home everything and use the head and bones to make the broth and strain. Cooking time will be longer, for sure, but you'll get the richest flavors.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people
Thai Fish Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Kha Pla)


For the spice base

To make the soup

To serve


  • Grind all the solid ingredients in the spice base list. Pour in the fish sauce and diluted coconut sugar slowly to make grinding easier. You don't need to make a paste. You just want to pound everything to small pieces.
    Spices for making the soup base for tom kha pla
  • Heat the fish broth in a pot, stir in the spice base, tomato, tied lemongrass and fish sauce to taste. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the coconut cream and stir. Taste and add more fish sauce, as needed.
    Adding coconut cream to spices in broth to make Thai fish coconut milk soup
  • Bring to a gentle boil and allow to cook, uncovered, for five minutes.
  • Stir in the fish slices and cook for another five minutes.
    Slices of fish fillet for tom kha pla (Thai fish coconut cream soup)
  • Taste the broth, add more fish sauce, if needed, before stirring in the lime juice.
  • Serve your tom kha pla garnished with cilantro.
Keyword coconut milk, Fish