Spicy Coconut Soup

imageIs it the cold weather? Is it my age? My mind turned back to a soup that we would sit eating in a very cheap but fantastic Malaysian restaurant in Soho. The added entertainment was watching the punters going in and out of the building opposite. Anyway, the restaurant sold the most wonderful ‘Santan Soup’ (which probably means nothing), and it came with a veneer thin layer of chilli oil over the top and was served way above boiling point. This is a variation. It provides a nice basic but spicy coconut soup, and you can then add the variations of chicken, vegetables, fish and even duck to change it out. Cheap, warming and hot – just what the punters want.

Serves 2 as a Main Course.


  • groundnut oil 1 tbsp
  • Red Thai curry paste 2 tbsp
  • Curry powder 2 tsp
  • Chicken stock 250ml
  • Coconut milk 400ml
  • Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce 2 tsp
  • Lime juice 1 tbsp, to taste
  • Palm or caster sugar a good pinch


  1. Add and heat the oil, then add the Thai curry paste and stir over a low to medium heat for a couple of minutes, then add the curry powder stirring again.
  2. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan,  bring the lot to the boil making sure all the dry ingredients have combined with the wet ones.
  3. As soon as the stock and coconut milk are combined and have come to the boil, lower the heat so it simmers gently, cover with a lid and leave for about 20 minutes thickening the whole thing.
  4. Stir in the fish sauce, the lime juice and palm sugar to taste. At this point, add your vegetables and simmer for a further 3-5 minutes until they are cooked.

About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
This entry was posted in Fish, Meat, Quick Suppers, soup, Starter, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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