The Best Thai Coconut Soup

So good! I added a little curry powder and about a tsp. of lime zest. I was amazed to see the difference in brands of canned coconut milk. I picked up several cans of it on the aisle with the powdered and shelf life milk. Then I saw it in the chinese food section labeled Thai Coconut Milk and bought several there. Upon opening it was clear that they were different. The Thai product was creamy and thick on the top ( I have seen that referenced in other Thai recipes) The Thai product was clearly superior. Look for it. I will make this again. It was great without noodles or rice, very filling in and of itself for a meal for me.

This recipe is the bomb! Exactly what I was hoping for. Taste just like the soup at a Thai restaurant near our home. My husband and I had been trying to figure out what was in theirs, and couldn’t figure out what the red spice was that was floating at the surface of the soup – it was the red curry paste! I ran to a local Oriental food store on my lunch hour today, and picked up a can of it for 99 cents. Only used a little bit of it, so I froze the rest in an ice cube tray and then in individual cubes for future use.

The only changes I made to this recipe were that I left out the lemon grass (the red curry paste actually has lemon grass in the ingredients – so I don’t think it jeopardized the flavor at all leaving it out). The only other change I made was that I used chicken instead of shrimp. We just had shrimp the night before, and I had 1 raw chicken breast left that needed to be used. I just sauteed the chicken with the oil, red curry paste and ginger until no longer pink, and then continued on with the recipe. Hubby, daughter and I all LOVED it. Served it with Pot Stickers and Korean Cucumber salad (from this site). YUMMO!

This was wonderful! So rich and flavorful, and fairly easy to prepare. I could eat the delicious, rich broth by itself, but the shrimp and mushrooms add a wonderful flavor and texture. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used veg broth. Next time, I’ll add either red pepper flakes or more curry paste to give it that Thai kick.

Fantastic recipe with a broth just bursting with wonderful flavors. We generally stayed with the recipe other than adding about 3/4 pound of sea scallops, quartered and switching 2 out of 3 cans of regular coconut milk to the lite type to moderate the amount of saturated fat. Jessica, the recipe’s author, suggested in her review that some people prefer whole stalks of fresh lemongrass be added to the soup rather than mincing it, and we would do that in the future as the crunch from tiny pieces didn’t do much for us.

We would also follow her lead to increase the red curry paste. While all the steps in the directions call for stirring the soup as successive ingredients are added, it doesn’t indicate to do so after adding the shrimp. It was only stirred once, and that was a mistake as some pieces of shrimp were a bit tough probably because of hot spots from using a gas stove . . . next time, the soup will be stirred often and possibly lopping off about 1 minute of cooking time during this next to last step. Jessica, you rock!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemon grass, minced
2 teaspoons red curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juicesalt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro.


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice; season with salt; garnish with cilantro.