Thai Citrus Coconut Sauce

Thai Citrus Coconut SauceThis is a spin off Tom Kha; Thai galangal soup with coconut. I would have named it Tom Kha Sauce, but it would have translated to galangal soup sauce, and that’s a little silly. And since I didn’t feel the need to include galangal in this recipe, (it isn’t exactly the easiest ingredient to come by in some places) it being galangal soup sauce would be just as ridiculous. Thus I simply call this Thai Citrus Coconut Sauce, and it is AWESOME! (If I say so of my own creation.)

Using coconut cream as a thick base for this sauce, I kept the fantastic flavors of the Thai kaffir lime and lemongrass that are so great in Tom Kha. To make it a sauce and not a soup I needed to replace the liquid stock with vegetable broth powder. Lastly I made sure to include chopped mushrooms for full bodied flavor.

A word about ingredients and prep for this recipe:

It seems like common practice in Thai soups to leave the lemon grass and ginger as large pieces. They can then either be eaten or easily picked out. Since this recipe is more of a sauce I felt that large chunks might be a little confusing, so initially I fine diced the lemongrass. For this reason I also diced the mushrooms. Later, however I decided that grating the lemongrass would help everything to have a smoother consistency. It is really up to you and your available equipment to choose which option works best.
I also chose not to include ginger in this recipe, as amazing as it is and would be in combination, only because I was attempting to replicate the delicate flavor of Tom Kha. If you like or want ginger you should definitely add it, as it will go very well.
Lastly, I did include garlic, which is not on my Tom Kha recipe, as I think it brings a good undertone when serving it over mild proteins.

Thai Citrus Coconut Dipping SauceThis sauce is super versatile. It can be used over rice or noodles and with any type of protein. It is also thick enough to be used for dipping. This makes it perfect for appetizers! Simply pick your favorite vegetable or a finger appropriate meat and offer this sauce for a refreshing and unique, spicy, appetite wetter before your meal.

Thai Citrus Coconut Sauce

By: semiserious chefs
Makes: 2 cups of sauce


  • 5 Chinese chilies, fine minced (more or less to taste)
  • 1 T grated lemon grass*
  • 4 Thai kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, fine minced
  • 2 mushrooms minced
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t vegetable broth powder
  • 2 cups coconut cream

*See the note above about ingredients.


  1. Add the chilies, lemon grass, lime leaves, garlic, and mushrooms to the oil in the bottom of a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for just a 1 minute or so, to aromatize, but not to crisp or burn.
  2. Add the coconut cream, vegetable broth powder, and lime juice to the sauteed ingredients. Keeping over medium/medium-low heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes lidded.
  3. Serve over grilled or baked fish, shrimp, tofu, chicken, or pork with white rice or noodles.

I used this sauce over Memorial Day weekend with grilled ahi, and then later with these edamame noodles and fried tofu.

Citrus Coconut Sauce over Grilled Ahi and RiceFried Tofu and Noodles with Citrus Coconut Sauce

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