Inspired by a recipe in Hong Thaimee’s True Thai cookbook, this aromatic corn chowder is a stir fry turned soup. First corn is charred in a wok and then fragrant Southeast Asian ingredients are tossed in to simmer with rich coconut milk before being blended into a semi smooth purée.
If you ensure you have all of the ingredients prepared and to hand before you begin to cook then you can throw this corn soup recipe together in 15 or 20 minutes. Or if you are like me you can destroy your kitchen while you cook because you are too impatient to get your shit together first.
Fragrant Corn Chowder
This aromatic corn soup utilises ingredients commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and has a spicy edge that can be taken up a notch with more chilli, or eliminated completely for a milder dish. I favour a chowder style with some chunks and so I only blend the ingredients lightly, but if your preference is silky smooth soup then up those blender settings and go to town.
- 1 ½ cups corn kernels (I used frozen)
- 1 teaspoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 300 millilitres (1 ¼) cup coconut milk
- 60 millilitres (¼ cup) water or more coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
- 2-3 stalks lemongrass
- 1-2 bird’s eye chillies, optional
- 2 coriander roots (or 2 tablespoons chopped coriander stems)
- ½ teaspoon palm sugar
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Cut the root of the lemongrass stalks and peel away any tough, dry outer leaves. Cut the stalk into 2-3 inch pieces and bruise with a pestle or another heavy object (the lemongrass should split apart a in the middle).
- Bruise the chilies to expose the seeds.
- Preheat an unoiled wok to the highest possible heat for a few minutes. Add the oil (it will smoke severely, which is the point), and the corn, stir frying for 1-2 minutes. The corn will pick up some charred black marks.
- Quickly stir fry the shallots and garlic for about 1 minute before knocking the heat down once again to medium low. Add the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, kaffir lime leaves, bruised lemongrass and chillies, coriander roots, palm sugar, and white pepper.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves before pureeing the soup in a blender (allow the liquid to cool first if your blender is glass). If you don’t want an overly spicy soup, also remove the crushed chilli (plenty of the heat will have been imparted).
- Season with salt to taste and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Serves 2, as an appetiser
- Cuisine: Thai fusion