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This soup will warm your inside and satisfy your taste bud.

The recipe can be used with other seafoods like shrimps, mussels, scallops, clams, swordfish etc. I opted to use tilapia filets but sliced whole fish with bones would also be fine.


  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia filets
  • 1 stalk minced lemongrass (tanglad), or 2.5 to 3 tablespoons frozen or bottled
  • lemongrass (check substitution below)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (check substitution below)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon galangal or ginger, grated
  • 1-2 sliced red chilis or 1-2 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (check substitution below)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • Fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly choppe
  • If you can’t find lemongrass: try 3 slices of fresh lemon (boil in the soup)
  • Instead of kaffir lime leaves: 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • For chili: 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or dried crushed chili (chili flakes)


  1. Pour stock plus lemongrass and lime leaves in a deep soup pot over medium-high heat. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add garlic, galangal/ginger, and chilis. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add tilapia filets and mushrooms. Simmer over medium heat 3-4 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot (do not boil at this point). Taste test the soup for salt and spices, adding more fish sauce instead of salt (I usually add 1 more tablespoon), or more chilis as desired. If too sour, add more sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander/cilantro sprinkled over. For an extra hit of flavor, you can also add some Thai chili sauce, either store-bought or the homemade version.


Credits to: Darlene Schmidt of