This vegan tom yum soup has all the authentic flavor and spicy, sweet and sour tang you could dream of. Better than a restaurant.
We love Thai food. In fact Thailand has been our favorite holiday destination for pretty much our whole marriage. We first went there on honeymoon in 2007.
So Thai food is something that we never get tired of, and making homemade versions of dishes we’ve enjoyed many times at Thai restaurants is a bit of a side hobby.
So it was about time we made a vegan tom yum soup for this blog.
And this version is seriously delicious. It’s also really easy.
It has some fancier ingredients like lemongrass and shiitake mushrooms (do shiitake mushrooms even count as ‘fancy’? I’m not sure), but it still manages to be really simple with a wonderfully authentic flavor.
How To Make Vegan Tom Yum Soup
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
Do you have a herb infuser? We JUST got one and I love this thing!
Instead of having to fish the herbs that infuse your food – but that you are not supposed to eat – like sticks of lemongrass or bay leaves or whatever out of your food before serving, you just pop the herbs into this little thing, put it into your pot and then just lift it out when you’re ready.
So start off by cutting your lemongrass stalks in half (so you have 4 halves) and then add the lemongrass and lime leaves into your herb infuser. It’s helpful if you sort of smash the lemongrass stalks a bit with the back of your knife so that they are more inclined to release more flavors and then place them into the herb infuser.
Then you just want to add coconut oil to a pot with chopped onion, crushed garlic, minced ginger and Thai red curry paste and sauté until the onions are softened.
Add vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes and coconut cream along with your herb infuser.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes letting those herbs do all their delicious infusing! Then you can remove the herb infuser and carry on with the rest of the dish.
If you don’t have a herb infuser, don’t worry, you’ll just have to fish out the stalks of lemongrass and the lime leaves the old fashioned way, using a spoon!
Add soy sauce, lime juice and all your sliced shiitake mushrooms. Bring back to the boil and cook for around 3 minutes.
Turn down to a simmer and add coconut sugar, sliced cherry tomatoes and tofu and leave it to simmer for around 5 minutes.
And then you’re ready to serve.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Lime leaves. If you can’t find lime leaves you can switch for bay leaves. Bay leaves are usually very easy to find. Since this recipe uses fresh lime juice, it will still have the tangy lime flavor even without lime leaves. Otherwise check out an Asian grocery store if you have one in your area, you should be able to get the lime leaves there.
Lemongrass. The same thing goes for lemongrass, check at an Asian grocery store if you’re struggling to find it. I really do recommend you make every effort to use the lemongrass as it is very much a signature flavor here. But if you have to leave it out, well…this soup will still taste amazing! So no worries there.
Shiitake mushrooms. You can use fresh shiitake mushrooms or dried. We had a struggle finding fresh ones so used dried ones that we soaked in hot water for 3 hours first. Of course this is time consuming so fresh mushrooms are going to be easier! But either/or are an option for this soup.
Coconut cream. This should be canned and unsweetened. You can also use canned, unsweetened coconut milk.
Keep leftovers stored in the fridge where they will stay good for around 5 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
More Vegan Asian Inspired Recipes
- Vegan Pad Thai
- Vegan Massaman Curry
- Vegan Thai Green Curry
- Vegan Coconut Curry
- Kung Pao Tofu
- Thai Pumpkin Curry
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Tom Yum Soup
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- ½ Medium Onion White, Yellow or Brown, Finely Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Crushed Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
- 2 teaspoons Thai Red Curry Paste
- 3 cups Vegetable Stock (720ml)
- 14 ounces Canned Chopped Tomatoes (400g)
- 14 ounces Canned Coconut Cream (400ml) Unsweetened
- 2 Stalks Lemongrass
- 2 Lime Leaves or sub for Bay Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 cups Shiitake Mushrooms Sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (150g) Sliced in half
- 16 ounces Extra Firm Tofu (450g) Cubed
- Fresh Cilantro For Serving
- Cut the two lemongrass stalks in half so that you have four small stalks. Bash them a bit on the counter with the back of a knife so that they release more of their flavor. Place them into a herb infuser along with the lime leaves. If you don't have a herb infuser, then don't worry, you can place the herbs directly into the pot, but you'll just need to make sure you remove them.
- Add the coconut oil to a pot along with the chopped onion, crushed garlic, minced ginger and red curry paste and fry until onions are softened.
- Add the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes and coconut cream along with the lemongrass and lime leaves (either in your herb infuser, or just straight). Bring to the boil and simmer for around 5 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
- Remove the herb infuser or just remove the lemongrass stalks and lime leaves.
- Add in soy sauce, fresh lime juice and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Bring back to a boil and cook for around 3 minutes.
- Turn down the heat to a simmer, and add in the coconut sugar, sliced cherry tomatoes and cubes of tofu. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the soup with fresh cilantro for garnish.
- Coconut cream. This can be replaced with canned, full fat, unsweetened coconut milk.
- Mushrooms. We used dried shiitake mushrooms and 3 cups of the dried mushrooms weighed 70g. Once soaked for 3 hours in hot water and rehydrated, they were still 3 cups (sliced), but the weight was 370g. This is not a crucial measure, if you use a little more or less it won’t matter, so going for a cup measure here will work great. Using fresh shiitake mushrooms and not dried will definitely save time so go this route unless dried are the only ones you can find.
- Gluten-free. Use a gluten-free soy sauce or switch for tamari if you want to keep this gluten-free.
- Storing. Keep leftovers stored in the fridge (covered) for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.