Friday, October 4, 2013

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup

Temperature Check: 13 degrees C

My Naar Nederland book says that it often rains here in the autumn. That a lot of people also get sick, perhaps from the rain and the cold weather. No wonder people much prefer to stay inside where it is lekker warm  at this time of the year.

And nothing screams comfort like a nice bowl of warm soup. 
See those kids over there with the banner? That was our spot. We stood behind them during the Prinsjesdag parade.
Standing shivering in the cold for hours to watch the Dutch Royal Couple's procession had me badly in need of and in the mood for some hot ramen afterwards. We found a nice looking japanese restaurant not too far from our viewing spot. I could almost cry happy tears when I saw ramen on their menu. Thank heavens! One ramen for me and a teriyaki bento for the hubby.
Then came the ramen. Surprise! Surprise! But wait.. something is missing. Where was the hot broth? Can you call it ramen if it doesn't have soup? I felt a bit cheated with this dish. The serving size was so small, I wondered if I had mistakenly ordered an appetizer. To be fair, it was still a very tasty dish though it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Unfortunately, there was some misunderstanding with the server, who failed to note down the hubby's bento order which put him in a bad mood. He didn't want to bother waiting for the bento so we left after we finished the ramen. We were both still hungry so then we ended up in another low-key spot around the corner that serves good wok meals. That saved the day. We should have just gone straight to this place if only we had found it first. Cheaper meals with way bigger servings! I was beyond grateful for a warm cup of Thai Kokos Soep.

This soup was still on my mind days later after leaving that Wok restaurant. Too bad it wasn't within the area where we live. I fell in love with that soup but not crazy enough to go all the way to Den Haag for it. I knew I had to make a similar kokos soep at home.

So google led me to this very reliable link for wonderful recipes that is definitely going to my bookmarks.

For this delicious soup, you will need mushrooms, red bell pepper, ginger, half a stalk of lemon grass, chicken broth, soy sauce, fresh coriander, garlic and sambal oelek (Chili paste) that I forgot to include in the photo. 

We don't have fish sauce in the house so I used soy sauce instead. I also omitted the chicken in the soup (used them instead for the Chicken Cashew in Sweet Chili Sauce as you can see below.)

There is a chain of chinese stores in the Netherlands called "TOKO" that sells all sorts of imported Asian products. I badly miss our Filipino soy sauce but I can't find it here!

Clean and slice your mushrooms *with a blunt knife*. Measure about 1.5 cups.

1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper (seeded)

Cut the lemon grass lengthwise. Mince the garlic and ginger.

Cook the mushrooms, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. 
Add the sambal oelek. Stir and cook for another minute.

Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the koriander just before serving.

serves 3-4
recipe adapted from Cooking Light 

2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
half a stalk lemon grass, cut lengthwise
2 tsp sambal oelek(or thai red curry paste)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp soy sauce
fresh koriander

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, lemon grass, mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the sambal. Cook for another minute. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard lemon grass. Top with koriander.

Oh, and I also made this awesome Chicken Cashew in Sweet Chili Sauce to go with the Thai Spicy Coconut Soup. Why buy take out when you can make it at home? 

Perfect Thai dinner for two!


  1. I'm drooling while reading this post. I'm sorry about what happened with the hubby's order in the first restaurant but good thing you were able to satisfy yourselves on the second resto. Wow! You are so ready to have a family, Jo. I want to try the chicken cashew in sweet chili sauce. =)

    1. "So ready to have a family"-> You're funny, Fred! :D Btw a friend in facebook posted some awesome looking waffles last week. Thought you and mustachio might want to check it out. I think the place was called "Waffle Island Coffee Shop".

    2. Yeah, I checked some of the blogs and it's in Gaisano Countrymall and I think they are affordable. I'll check it soon because I know Mustachio will not go with me hahahaha =)

    3. Mustachio says he has a weak spot for waffles and cupcakes. :D

  2. Wooow!! Hope I can make something like this at home too, I'm not very blessed with this skill! Haha :)

    REAlity Bites

    1. This is very easy to make, Rea. Let me know how it turns out if you do try the recipe. :)

  3. OH MY GOODNESS. I came to your blog for the Stuffed Cheesy Bread on Crack, but I was telling my husband THIS MORNING that I need to find a recipe like this! Gaaaahhhh, I can't wait to make it tomorrow!! You rock!!

    1. :) Hope you enjoy the soup and bread! Thanks for dropping by, Emalee!

  4. Where to find the words to thank you for this soup...A few years back, I worked at a Thai restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Their Tom Kha (Spicy coconut soup) was one of my favorite things, especially if the weather was chilly & wet or if I was coming down with a cold. I always got it with sticky rice and savored every bite. Now, I live in the west coast of Ireland and winter is here - ie, chilly & wet. Was so excited to find all the ingredients at our local supermarket, minus fresh coriander, so decided to make this tonight. No sticky rice here, but added some noodles and prawns and oh my goodness, my husband and I could not stop eating! Finally! A recipe to replace my awful lack of available Thai food here, and so simple too. Thank you thank you thank you (can you tell I really love this soup?!?)

    1. I know exactly how you feel, being in the Netherlands right now and away from home. Cooking Light takes all the credit for this awesome but easy-to-make Thai Coconut Soup. :) My husband, who doesn't like to cook, loves it so much he's asked me to teach him how to make it.

  5. Hi! I made this tonight. I must tell you thank you. I changed it up a little bit because when I saw the picture it immediately made me think of the yellow curry I used to get when I lived in St. Louis, Missouri. I, like Amy, no longer live there and the Thai here is not my favorite so when I made this it was so close to what we got at our favorite restaurant it was all I could do not to lick the bowl. You rock! I posted my version on my blog and totally linked back to you as it was your picture that made my mouth water and my feet run to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients of this fantastic soup. Thank you again!

  6. This sounds amazing :) I'm from St. Louis and we have a lot of great Thai restaurants. I really enjoy making meals at home though. Quick question, where would I find Fresh Koriander and Lemon Grass?

  7. This is wonderful!!! The broth is heavenly and I bet could be quite versatile. Granted I know nothing of Thai cooking but you could definitely beef this up with other veggies if you wanted a heartier dinner. Cauliflower perhaps? Thats what came to my mind. Thanks so much for sharing! Think it would freeze well?

  8. This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! I hope mine comes out as nice (& tasty!)

  9. Hello, have you posted your chicken cashew with.sweet chili recipe? Thanks!