See what I did there another terrible pun. But I remember the village fetes when I was growing up and there was always a coconut shy. You aimed a small hard wooden ball to knock down coconuts and win a prize. The only other time I encountered coconut in my childhood was the giant box of Bassett’s Liquorish Allsorts at Christmas. I ate far too many and was violently ill. It then took years to be able to stomach anything coconut flavoured. Thankfully I now like coconut in curries, desserts and love coconut sorbet. So I am not really happy to bring you this very tasty recipe for Thai Coconut Fish Soup. I still think desiccated coconut is made from Satan’s hoof clippings.
I love the contrasts and combinations in Thai cooking, salt, sweet, heat and sour. Recipes such as Thai style crab cakes and Seafood Tom Yam. Most of the aromatic ingredients are now available in a good supermarket or specialist Asian shop. You can use creamed coconut or coconut milk in the recipe and any seafood you really fancy. I have used monkfish but you can use any firm white fish. You can add prawns, squid, and mussels if you wish. This soup honours the spirit of Thai cooking rather than being wholly authentic so uses key Thai ingredients. There are chillies, galangal, coriander, and garlic flavouring the coconut base.
Thai Coconut Fish Soup
For the Soup Base
- 500 ml quality Fish stock
- 1 can Coconut Milk approximately 400 ml
- 4 Lemongrass stalks bruised and cut into large pieces
- 6 large Banana Shallots peeled and quartered
- 75 gr Galangal peeled and sliced
- 6 cloves Garlic peeled and roughly crushed
- A handful Coriander bruise the stems ( save leaves to garnish )
- 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves torn
- 4 small Red Chillies chopped
- 4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 2 tablespoons Thai Fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dried Shrimp
- 1 teaspoon Light Brown Sugar
- 1 handful shaved Coconut toasted
For the Soup
- 400 gr Monkfish boned, skinned and sliced
- 12 large Prawns shelled and de veined
- 1 small bunch Spring Onion finely sliced
- 4 fresh Kaffir Lime leaf
- 2 stalk Lemongrass peeled and cut in quarter
- 1 Red Chilli finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons Coriander freshly chopped
- 2 tablespoon Crispy Thai Shallots
- Juice of 1 fresh Lime
- Heat the oven to 375 F / 190 C / Gas mark 5. Place the shallots, galangal, garlic and chillies on a tray and drizzle with the oil, place in the oven and roast for forty-five minutes until soft and caramelised.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool and place in a food processor. Blitz to form a paste. Place the paste and the remaining ingredients into a large heavy-bottomed pan and bring just to the boil. Cover and gently simmer for twenty minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool and strain.
- Heat the soup base up to a gentle simmer and add the monkfish, prawns, lemongrass and lime leaves. Cook for five minutes until the fish and prawns are poached. Add the lime juice, spring onions and fresh coriander and check if any more ( seasoning ) fish sauce is required. Ladle into a bowl, add chilli and serve.