Thai food has become my comfort food. It’s the cuisine I crave on the regular. It’s become a big problem.
At work we had an open call “Salmon Chowder Contest” that would run on our menu at the restaurant if it was chosen to be the winner. This is the soup I made for the contest.
I decided to base my recipe off of one I made last year for my Tom Kha Gai soup. It’s not your traditional chowder, but it’s crazy delicious. Like, it’s really good. Trust me.
Forget tradition and try this! You won’t be disappointed.
Coconut Salmon Chowder
Yields 2 quarts
FOR THE CHOWDER
2 nubs medium-sized galangal, peeled and sliced*
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced thin
5 kaffir lime leaves
6 Thai bird chiles
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, julienned
2 cups Yukon potatoes, peeled and medium-diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans coconut cream
2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound salmon, skin-off, cut into medium-sized cubes
1/8 cup fish sauce
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup Thai basil, picked and minced
1 cup cilantro, picked and minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
*galangal is a rhizome from the same family as ginger, used primarily in Thai, Lao and Vietnamese cooking. Find it at your local Asian supermarket.
Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and process to a paste. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the paste, stirring till fragrant; about 5 minutes. Add the onions and saute till lightly browned. Add the potatoes and garlic and stir for a minute.
Turn down the heat and add the coconut cream and stir. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar, and bring to a gentle simmer, then add the salmon and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or till salmon is cooked.
Add the cilantro, Thai basil, lime zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a healthy drizzle of Thai basil oil. (Recipe below).
FOR THE THAI BASIL OIL
Yields 2 cups
2 cups Thai basil, packed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 3/4 cups olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Blanch the basil leaves in boiling salted water for 20 seconds. Remove the basil and shock in an ice water bath. Add in the garlic and olive oil. Process in a food processor till fully combined.
Store in an airtight container overnight in the refrigerator. Not he next day, strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the leaves.