If you follow my blog, you may have noticed a bit of a theme lately. I am doing a study on Asian cooking so I have been posting many Thai style recipes. Living in a rural area, it can be difficult to get some of the more uncommon food supplies that I need. However, we have two lovely Asian markets in San Luis Obispo County that offer a nice selection of goods with friendly and helpful staff. My go to spot is San Luis Oriental Market on Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo. They always have what I need and the assistance to help me find it! Another notable store in our county is De Bu of Pismo Beach. I haven’t been there yet, but heard great things about them. When all else fails, the best thing to do is hop on Amazon.com. There isn’t anything that you can’t find there and if you are an Amazon Prime/Smile shopper (and why wouldn’t you be?), it will arrive in two days! A little planning ahead and your Asian feast awaits.
My latest endeavor was a Thai Corn Chowder. What makes this soup so sensational is the marriage of Thai flavors and a little heat. Kaffir lime leaves (which you can purchase and store in your freezer to use as needed), lemongrass (nothing matches the aroma and taste that comes from this jewel), fresh grated ginger, coconut milk and a minced Thai chili (be careful as a very little goes a loooong way!). The soup is partially pureed which gives it a really nice texture and it tastes heavenly.
Using the last fresh corn of the season in this soup is a great way to enjoy it’s perfection to the fullest. You not only add the corn kernels to the soup, but also use the corn cobs while simmering to bring out additional corn flavor. I find that adding otherwise unused vegetable parts to your broth or stock really enhances the flavor of what you are creating. And I love the idea of utilizing the WHOLE vegetable!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Thai chili, minced (remove seeds if desired, they can be very hot!)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Zest from one lime
- 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
- 3 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
- 3 corn cobs, broken in half
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, cut into 2 inch long pieces
- 1 kaffir lime leaf, torn into large pieces
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- Bunch of Thai basil, thinly sliced (can substitute regular basil)
- Bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion & celery and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the salt, garlic, chili, ginger, lime zest, potatoes, and corn; cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the corn cobs into to the pot. Add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Cover all with the broth & water (adding more water if needed) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and partially cover the pot, leaving some space so the steam can escape. Simmer for 30 minutes, until all of the vegetables are soft.
- Turn off the heat and remove the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf from the pot. Remove about half of the soup and blend it in a standing blender before adding it back to the pot.
- Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, Thai basil, cilantro, and lime juice (leaving some of the herbs aside for a garnish). Bring the soup back to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the soup is hot. Add more salt, to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining herbs.
- You can purchase Kaffir Lime Leaves online or at an Asian market and keep them frozen, using only what is needed for your recipe.
- If you can handle more heat, pass Sriracha sauce when serving for a little extra punch.
(click here) for printable recipe