Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup

with coconut milk & rice

The most important thing for me each morning is to make sure that I wake up a little early and put aside at least 10 minutes for me to sit down and have a cup of coffee. I don’t feel human without this ritual, and I’m a morning person anyway, so it’s never been too bothersome to me. I can’t just rush out of bed, throw my clothes on, and run down to the subway. I need a few minutes to goof around on my computer and finish my coffee. I know some people think that even two extra minutes of sleep is completely worth it, but I’m fine waking up at 5:30 AM if that means I get to do what I am doing right now, which is sitting comfortably on my couch curled up in the thick crocheted blanket that my mom made for me when we first moved to New York, and sipping on some coffee in my favorite Stumptown mug (I don’t know what it is about their mugs, but they have the perfect weight and minimalistic design that just puts me in a good mood in the morning). I will admit, I do set my alarm for 5 AM initially, because hitting snooze is absolutely necessary. If you don’t hit snooze at least once each morning when you wake up, I may suspect that you are some kind of robot. Eventually, though, I roll out, turn the heat on, and make myself coffee (pour over, of course, because I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and therefore must perpetuate every stereotype that comes along with that). I’m not really a coffee snob, though. We get our coffee from the coffee shop next to our building, which is $13 for a pound of fairly fresh beans and actually pretty damn delicious. Kramer is more of a coffee aficionado, and he’ll buy Stumptown or Blue Bottle if given the chance, but I feel like those two places are in a competition with one another to see who can burn away what’s left of my stomach lining first. If I want fancy coffee, I love Toby’s Estate, where their brew is a bit more mellow, or MyWayCup, which is in Manhattan and run by the nicest Israeli boys ever (they always say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to every customer; people notice that kind of thing!), but at home, I’m good with my neighborhood beans and my mom’s blanket.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup

There’s never enough coffee, is there?
Sometimes I think that people who have a hard time waking up in the morning, who claim to not be “morning people” are only like that because they are rushed. There’s nothing worse than have to run out of the house in the morning. It can’t be good for you! Whenever I feel like I am going to be late, it puts me in the absolute worst mood, and that’s a hard thing to shake. It probably doesn’t help that I rarely get myself together the evening before. I can’t pick out what I am going to wear the next day; New York weather changes so quickly that there’s really no point. And I rarely put my gym bag together the night before, well, because I can hardly wait to crash on the couch the moment that I step foot in my apartment and I park myself there until it’s time to go to bed. I work better in the morning, anyway. My head always feels fuzzy and I am exhausted by the time I’m done with work, but after my glorious cup of coffee first thing in the morning, I feel focused and energized…or as much as I possibly can be before the sun has come up.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup

One thing I do plan ahead for, though, are dinners. As I mentioned, I am just dead tired after getting home from work, so I don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen. I made this Thai shrimp soup on Sunday afternoon, then Kramer and I ate it for dinner on Monday and Tuesday night, plus I froze some to eat on a night where Kramer has class. I love Thai soups. The richness of the coconut milk and cleanness of the ginger cuts through the heat of the peppers and spices, while the shrimp and rice make it hearty and satisfying. I remember when I first moved here, I thought that shrimp in soup was weird – I had never had it before and it was an odd combination to me. Now, though, my love for shrimp is unwavering and if you can add it to soup, all the better. Your house will smell absolutely lovely as all of the aromatics waft through the air while this soup cooks. I do recommend adding just a tiny bit of fish sauce for depth of flavor, but again, if you’re like me five or six years ago and you don’t think that fish sauce is for you, feel free to omit it…but give it a try if you’re adventurous! A little goes a long way and it definitely makes the dish more authentic. You can obviously substitute chicken for the shrimp, or add more veggies to make it vegetarian. This soup is versatile and can be made to suit just about anybody’s tastes, and it makes a lot, so invite some friends over to share in this tasty Thai creation.

Spicy Thai Shrimp SoupDelicious bagels and lox, foosball with Morgan, Star Wars trading cards at Brooklyn Flea, and a lobster roll from Luke’s.
Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
There’s always a billion cabs when you don’t need one.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
Alright, now on to soup. Chop up your bell pepper (use yellow, red, or orange – green has no flavor).

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
Then thinly slice your leeks.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
Then your jalapeño pepper and garlic.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
And grab your tomatoes!

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
Mix it all up, simmer, and add your shrimp. Boom, soup!

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
It’s a perfect soup for your soup group.

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
A hearty Thai style soup with coconut milk, fresh ginger, shrimp, and basmati rice.
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, finely minced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small cube of ginger, finely minced
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 20 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 1 12-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, and cut in half
  1. Heat your olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add in your bell peppers and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes, then add in the leeks and cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the minced jalapeños, cook for 2 minutes, then add in the ginger and stir to combine, cooking for only 1 minute or so.
  2. Add in the stock, tomatoes, curry powder, salt, fish sauce, and spices, then add in the rice. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until the rice is tender, and be sure to stir every so often so the rice doesn't burn to the bottom.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, then the shrimp. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve. This will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


20 Responses

  1. This looks crazy good! I love Thai Shrimp Soup. This may have to be my Sunday cooking project this week.

  2. I am such a big fan of curry and seafood! This would be the prefect hang over food for me, so aka comfort food weekend here I come!

  3. Tieghan says:

    I LOVE everything about this soup!! The spiciness, the shrimp, the rice, the coconut! Seriously, I need to make this. I think I love thai food to much!

  4. I’m with you – I love getting up a little early to eat breakfast and watch the news before the craziness of the day starts. Whenever I wake up too late, or don’t have the time to do that morning ritual, my whole day seems off!

  5. Sasha says:

    Mmm… looks inviting.

    I finally made it to Bk flea last weekend. The place is so beautiful and there is so much beautiful vintage stuff but I was disappointed by the food section. There’s like three tables and 100 people fighting for them, and everyone just ends up standing around the lucky few that are seated and giving them the evil eye. Now that’s some bad planning :/

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I love coconut milk and soups with rice, so this sounds so perfect to me!

  7. I have always had to take a few moments in the morning to chill or I cannot start my day. This soup looks great! It would help warm me up from this endlessly terrible winter weather.

  8. Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. I am definitely going to make this sometime in the near future. I’ll probably use chicken, though, because my boyfriend is allergic to shrimp. I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out! Super excited!

  9. I’m hitting the snooze button at least 3-4 times each morning until I’m officially late. I am a morning person but feeling rushed is really the worst feeling!

    Love this soup though. It looks like the perfect weeknight meal, and so perfect for work lunch too!

  10. Lynna says:

    I think I`m a morning person too. This soup looks so good! I think it`s an Asian thing to have shrimp in soup. LOL. At least I`m used to it.

  11. Allyn says:

    I made this last night and it was quite a bit thicker, much more like a curried gumbo. In fact, I think next time I’ll chop up some Chinese sausage and throw it in as well. So good!

  12. Megan Robison says:

    This soup was amazing, thanks so much for the recipe! It definitely got me through some cold, icky days.

  13. Hannah says:

    I just made this soup and it was one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever made. And the proportions were spot on– no need to fiddle too much. Simply BRILLIANT

  14. […] recette de soupe épicée aux crevettes à base de lait de coco. Miam !   Source / Crédit photo : The crepes of wrath   […]

  15. Esther Wong says:

    hi! I noticed that on the picture it says you minced garlic and jalapenos, but in the recipe it says ginger. Could I ask… is it garlic or ginger that you used?

  16. Claire says:

    This is truly amazing. It has everything you want in a food; colour, flavour, depth and it actually feels good for you. I made a batch last week and I’m doing another tonight. Thank you so much.

  17. Helen says:

    I found it to be gumbo like too! I initially was nervous to use jalepenos plus cayenne and hot pepper in a dish I was serving my kids but, while it was spicy, it wasn’t out of control!

  18. Ce Ce Kimrey says:

    How much is a “small cube of ginger” equivalent to? A teaspoon? More? Can you use ground ginger instead of the cube? How much ground ginger would you use?

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