I received a request to find a “nice and easy coconut Thai cream soup”. I thought this would be an easy recipe to find as I had just bought a book called Coconut 24/7 (perfect timing or what); only to find that there wasn’t a recipe for coconut cream Thai soup or anything remotely near this. I perused ten coconut soup recipes and after researching what makes a dish Thai, what are the typical components, ingredients and flavourings I put this recipe together. Now when I think “nice and easy” I have a few criteria: One- The ingredients must be in my at local grocer, as I am not venturing to the Asian market for lemongrass and Kaffir Lime leaves and even Palm sugar and coconut sugar. Yes I realize that these are what some would say are staple ingredients required, but I just can’t trek myself out when it’s -12 out and -21 with the wind chill; my fingers and toes mean more to me today. Two- When I say “nice and easy” it doesn’t mean I didn’t put any work into it and it took 10 minutes to make with no effort. Let’s face it everything takes a little effort unless you’re boiling an egg and making some toast; but see effort was required there also to some extent, but I digress. Three- It must take me no more than 30-60 minutes from prep to the table. If I can get a recipe complete in that time frame and the flavours are well married I deem it a success; especially with soup when those ingredients need time to grow. To keep the taste and feel true to Thai cuisine this recipe will have to require some essentials which some may deem not so “nice and easy”; but I’ll let you be the judge of that. To me this recipe is keeping the Thai feeling true but without all those hard to source ingredients. To me that is C. C.’s “nice & easy”.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy
• 2 cans coconut milk
• 3 shallots, minced
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp ginger, minced
• Handful of cilantro, including stems
• 2 tbsp chillies, chopped
• ½ tsp golden brown sugar
• Lime zest
• Juice from one lime
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• Black pepper
• Water from one Coconut
• 1 coconut, set water aside and get out flesh
• Coconut water, from coconut
• Coconut water, from can
• Package of Enoki mushrooms, (or button mushrooms)
• A handful of bean sprouts
• Coconut meat (leave some behind for garnish)
• 60g Spinach vermicelli rice noodles
• Cilantro leaves, for garnish
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced
• Fresh lime slices, for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, pour in coconut milk and simmer on low-medium heat.
2. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro, chillies and sugar, lime zest, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt & black pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Strain soup into another saucepan using a sieve and discard all the solids.
4. Add in coconut water from coconut and the can, mushrooms, bean sprouts, coconut meat and noodles, then continue to simmer for 2 – 5 minutes.
5. Garnish with cilantro leaves, green onion, coconut meat and lime.
• If you just want a broth, serve as is after you strain out the solids.
• I found it hard to eat the noodles, even though it tasted good. If you have a proper Thai spoon (wide porcelain spoon) it will make eating this so much easier.
• I found the Enoki mushrooms alongside all the other mushrooms at Metro, but button mushrooms will work just as well. I just wanted a unique eye-catching vegetable. (This was the second time I saw these mushroom. A cute anecdote that night for the appetizer round of Chopped Canada Enoki mushrooms was in the first basket and I couldn’t help but say I’m on the right path.)
• Cracking the coconut was a task. Skip if you’re not in the mood to crack open and extract the meat. I first tried to bake it at 375° for 10 minutes to get it to crack and that didn’t work; even though I read that this was a good way to crack it. I finally had to bring in the big guns (Mr. C.) and problem solved. I just needed that initial break and then I was good to go, smashing away the rest of it. Wash and place inside a heavy-duty freezer bag and that way you save the coconut water for the soup.
I have never had a Thai dish before ever. The Asian foods I consume are Chinese, Japanese and just a little to the east Filipino cuisine. This was my first foray into Thai food and I deem this a success. I could taste the sweet, salty, spicy and sour flavours all the while still getting that coconut flavour.