Tom Kha Salmon, Prepared by the Prime Minister of Thailand

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When Thais elected a celebrity chef as Prime Minister in 2008, we knew that an occupation in politics wouldn't stop Samak's dedication to the cooking show Chimpai Bonpai ("Tasting, Complaining"). For anyone visiting Thailand, see this show every Saturday on Channel 5 at 4:30 PM.

Now takes you behind the scenes to meet the world's first celebrity chef / prime minister! We recently joined Samak in Bangkok for the filming of his show, sat down for lunch together, talked about Thai food and shared one of his favorite soups--Tom Kha made with salmon. Here is the recipe for the soup, and we'll have more of Samak's recipes next month.

The secret to making a delicious Thai soup, according to Samak, is pounding together Thai pepper powder, corriander seed and fresh garlic in a mortar & pestle. This paste he calls "Thai MSG" and you can add it to any soup for good results. See below for the correct proportions.

You might also be interested in our excellent quality ready-made Tom Kha Soup in Pouches.


1 cube chicken buillion
1 lb salmon cut into bite-size chunks
1 teaspoon corriander seed
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon Thai pepper powder
1 cup sliced fresh galangal
1/4 cup sliced fresh lemongrass
1/4 cup kaffir lime leaves, sliced
1 cup fresh mushroom (more if desired)
2 13 oz cans coconut milk
7 tablespoons fish sauce


Bring 6 cups water to a boil and add chicken buillion. In a mortar and pestle pound the corriander seed, garlic and Thai pepper powder into a paste. Add the paste to the boiling stock. Add salmon, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and stir. Add mushrooms, followed by coconut milk. Season with fish sauce (more or less as you prefer). Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Ladle into a serving bowl and season with lime juice (quantity as you prefer), then sprinkle with mild fresh chiles such as jalapeno, red and yellow bell peppers, or any mild chile peppers in season.

Samak suggested that this be served with a special mix of steamed rice. Simply mix 80% uncooked jasmine rice with 20% uncooked sticky rice, rinse, and steam together in a rice cooker. We love this combination too! Ladle the soup over a bowl of the steamed rice, and enjoy this excellent Thai soup--from the Prime Minister to you.

NEW: Amazing Elephant Tom Kha Pouch.

NEW: Amazing Elephant brand "Tom Kha" Soup -- It's All In The Pouch. After years of development and investing in America, we are happy to introduce this ready-to-eat, premium quality, authentic and delicious Tom Kha soup made in small batches using the highest quality ingredients. Amazing Elephant brand puts everything in the pouch and cooks it to perfection.

To heat, simply put the pouch in boiling water for 3 minutes then open and serve alone or over rice. You can also microwave it for 90 seconds. It's all inside, so you don't need to add a thing.

This all-natural, gluten-free, preservative-free soup is precooked in a modern BPA-free pouch that's shelf stable for two years but tastes like it was just made fresh in a Thai grandmother's kitchen. Premium ingredients and sophisticated preparation ensure that this rivals anything a Thai restaurant serves.

More Info About Our Amazing Elephant Tom Kha

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September 6th, 2008
8:36 AM
I finally tried the Tom Kha Salmon recipe using your recommendation of 3 tablespoons lime juice (if you recall, I had asked your recommendation), and that turned out to be perfect - it\'s an amazing recipe and was my first use of your mortar and pestle. Also added just a bit of extra fish sauce. Amazing recipe, and the new yellow curry recipe was great too! Thanks again for the great service and constant work to make your already great site even better!
September 8th, 2009
12:04 AM
Good idea! kha taan. I am in New Zealand and the cost of this fish is not too much and loves to have thai food more than .Limon is not strong like the thai lime have to put more. Popular Dish and better than chichen wonderful menu for the party. Thanks 1000000.
July 13th, 2011
5:09 PM
Love Tom Kha with chicken; eagerly anticipate trying wih salmon.
July 13th, 2011
7:10 PM
Photo of ingredients shows 4 different peppers but no mention of peppers in the ingredients list for the recipe. Does the recipe need peppers?
Susie Nielsen
July 13th, 2011
11:51 PM
I will try Tom Kha Salmon, but can I try red snapper instead. Thanks again for the great service and proficient work to make your customer happy. I am so please to tell you that, your doing such a great job!
March 14th, 2013
8:58 PM
I have a freezer full of Alaska salmon and I can't wait to get this recipe in the dinner rotation.
Thank you!

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