This vegan Tom Yum Soup recipe is loaded with meaty mushrooms, spiralized zucchini noodles, and crispy, oven-baked tofu for a hearty yet healthy lunch or dinner meal! Enjoy this popular one-pot hot and sour Thai soup with its unique and explosive combination of creamy, spicy, zesty, and tangy flavors!
Thai Tom Yum Soup made Vegan and Easy!
Making some ingredient swaps to make it vegan gave me the opportunity to make it a more nutritious dish without losing its authentic flavors. Not only will you get a bowlful of deliciousness, but this healthy soup is also rich in protein and vitamins and fits a low-carb, low-calorie diet too!
What is Tom Yum Soup?
It is of the most popular soups in Thailand because of its robust and delightful flavors. It is a hot and sour soup that mainly uses prawns, shrimps or pork as a base. Local herbs like kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and galangal, plus seasonings like fish sauce and chilis, give it its distinctive flavors.
This homemade version will allow you to still enjoy all the amazing goodness of this Asian dish while keeping it wholly plant-based and low-carb!
Here are some key substitutions I made:
- Broth: I made this vegan version by using vegetable broth instead of shrimp or pork broth, lime juice instead of kaffir lime leaves, ginger instead of galangal, and tamari or soy sauce instead of fish sauce. The use of lemongrass, red Thai curry paste, tomatoes, and chili peppers gives this recipe a touch of authenticity that is pretty similar to what you enjoy in Thai restaurants.
- Creaminess: I also added coconut milk for a creamier take on the original Thai Tom Yum. I really like how it gives the broth a more decadent and slightly nutty taste. However, if you want your Tom Yum with a clear soup base, feel free to omit this. Lastly, it is served with oven-baked crispy tofu cubes.
- Noodles: I opted to use spiralized zucchini rather than rice noodles.
- Protein: traditional Tom Yum soups use shrimp or pork, but we are making some crisp and savory tofu cubes instead!
For the Soup base
- Aromatics: of course, any good Asian dish always starts with the savory trio of garlic, onion, and ginger.
- Vegetables: this recipe uses mushrooms and tomatoes for a rich meaty flavor. You can use shiitake, baby oyster, enoki, or other types of mushrooms you like.
- Cooking liquids: vegetable broth, coconut milk, and lemon juice are mixed together to achieve a savory, sour and creamy broth.
- Seasonings: I used Thai red curry paste, tamari, and maple syrup to imbue the tom yum soup with its signature spicy, umami, and mildly sweet flavors.
- Herbs & Spices: aside from the curry paste, I added Thai chili peppers and lemongrass The stalk lemongrass will is where the minty undertones come from!
- Oil: I used coconut oil for sautéing. However, feel free to use any kind of vegetable oil.
Crispy Tofu Topping
- Firm tofu: Pressed and cut into cubes.
- Oil: you can use sesame, peanut oil, or other vegetable oil you have.
- Tamari: or soy sauce.
- Cornstarch: will help make the tofu cubes crunchy!
- Zucchini: spiralized into spaghetti-like noodles. You can also use rice noodles if you prefer. Just make sure to pre-cook them before serving.
- Sesame seeds
- Parsley: you can also use cilantro.
- Chili flakes
How to make Vegan Tom Yum Soup
As always, I recommend checking out these step-by-step instructions and the recipe video first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Bake crispy tofu
Press the tofu very dry and cut into cubes. First, combine with oil and tamari, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and mix again until evenly coated. Place the marinated tofu cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 392 °F (200 °C) for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through.
Tip: For a faster version, cook the tofu cubes in a skillet.
Step 2: Cook the soup
Start by sautéing the onion until translucent. Then add garlic, ginger, chili and mushrooms and sauté for further 3-4 minutes. Next, stir in the curry paste and lemongrass and sauté for a minute. Now add vegetable broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, tamari and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and, covered, for 10-15 minutes.
Lastly, drizzle with fresh lime juice, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini or cook rice noodles according to package directions.
Step 3: Serve
Serve your vegan Tom Yum soup with zucchini noodles or rice noodles and crispy tofu in bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds, parsley or cilantro, chili flakes and lime wedges on the side if desired. Enjoy your meal!
Tips when Making Tom Yum Gung Soup
- Make sure to press your tofu dry to get the crunchiest results. If you do not have a tofu press, you can wrap the tofu block in a kitchen towel or paper towels and place a heavy, flat object on top, like a cast-iron skillet. Leave for a few minutes to let the moisture seep out.
- You can modify the level of spiciness and sourness by reducing the amount of red chili pepper and/or chili flakes and lime juice.
- Use room temperature coconut milk to ensure a creamier broth without lumps.
- If you do not have a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide strips, then slice them into thinner strips using a knife. You can also use a stand grater.
Leftover Thai soup can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If you are making this ahead, please add the zucchini or rice noodles and the tofu only when you are about to serve it.
This Vegan Tom Yum Soup recipe is:
- Robustly flavored
- Protein and vitamin-rich
- As good as the original!
- Perfect for lunch or dinner.
More delicious Asian recipes to try:
- Vegan Gyoza (Vegetable Dumplings)
- Vegan Pad Thai
- Thai Peanut Ramen Noodle Soup
- Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
- Creamy Thai Curry
- Peanut Vegetable Curry
- Tofu Satay Skewers
- Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
- Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
- Chinese Eggplant in Chili Garlic Sauce
- General Tso’s Tofu Sweet and Sour
- Scallion Pancakes (Chinese Flatbread)
- Asian Chili Garlic Noodles
- Crispy Sesame Tofu with Tahini Peanut Sauce
If you try this vegan tom yum zucchini noodle soup recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Thai Tom Yum Noodle SoupAuthor:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1.5 tbsp (10 g) ginger chopped
- 1 small chili pepper chopped, optional depending on the spiciness of your curry paste
- 8.8 oz (250 g) mushrooms mushrooms or shiitake
- 2 tsp red Thai curry paste
- 1 tsp lemongrass ground, or 1 stalk chopped
- 3 cups (750 ml) vegetable broth or more if needed
- ¾ cup (180 ml) coconut milk
- 14 oz (400 g) chopped tomatoes 1 can
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar to taste
- 1-2 limes squeezed
To serve (optional)
- 2 zucchini spiralized into spaghetti or 8.8 oz/250 g rice noodles
- sesame seeds
- parsley or cilantro
- chili flakes
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Preheat the oven to 392 °F (200 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wrap the tofu in paper towels and press it very dry. Then cut into cubes, pat dry again and place in a bowl. First mix the tofu cubes with oil and tamari. Then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and mix again until everything is coated.
- Spread the marinated tofu cubes on the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space between each and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, flipping after 15 minutes. (For a faster version, cook the tofu cubes in a skillet.)
- Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven and sauté the onion for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, chili and mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now stir in the curry paste and lemongrass and sauté for a minute.
- Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, tamari and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Lastly, stir in the lime juice, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini or cook rice noodles according to package directions.
- Serve the Tom Yum soup with zucchini noodles or rice noodles and crispy tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds, parsley or cilantro, chili flakes and lime wedges on the side if desired.
- Enjoy your meal!
- Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- More tips and information are mentioned in the blog post above!
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