Coconut noodle soup



Hello, friends! Hope spring is soon on its way to where you live. I wish I could say as much about the Bay Area. Although the cherry blossoms have bloomed, snow has also fallen and is continuing to fall in California! Yes! Snow in the Bay Area! It has not snowed in San Francisco even though it snowed just less than 15 minutes from where I live. I have been dreaming of a winter wonderland on this side of the bay but watching the news about people being snowed in, I am not so eager anymore. I would not know how to drive in the snowy weather anyway although the irony is my car is an all-wheel drive but have only been driven in the snow just once. LOL!

This historic weather in the Bay Area is making me enjoy the winter season longer. Since it has been storming a lot, I have not visited my family as much on Sundays as I often do after church. Instead, I have been enjoying moments of solitude staying in reading, being cozy, drinking holiday tea and eating comfort food that are often eaten in the fall and winter. Usually by March, winter is already almost a distant memory instead of being in the middle of winter, it seems like. So I continue to enjoy pumpkin, butternut squash and a drizzle of gingerbread or pumpkin spice in my coffee or tea. Amazingly, these seasonal food are still available where I shop.

I have not mentioned that we have been freezing here! Temperatures have broken half a century old records by dipping into the high-20s and low-30s. This cold and rainy weather is definitely soup weather. I love soup but hardly make it because as healthy as most soups are, they are also laden with sodium. This coconut shrimp noodle soup that I made is hearty, comforting and delicious. Although it is not low in sodium, I do not think that it is all that bad per serving. (Well, unless you eat the entire pot in one sitting but I doubt that you can or will do that! Ha! Ha!)

Wishing you a cozy month of March, and a glimpse of lovely spring season ahead. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Coconut noodle soup (with shrimp) is very easy and fast to make. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook this soup. It is creamy, hearty and light. This soup can also be made vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, omitting the fish sauce and adding tofu instead of shrimp. This has been inspired by the authentic Thai Coconut Soup, Tom Kha Gai, but this version makes use of ingredients that can be typically found in American grocery stores instead of Asian markets. We are lucky here in the Bay Area to have easy access to Asian ingredients but I often do not have the fresh ingredients in my fridge. When I shop at Asian markets, I tend to grab these herbs and remember to cook them right away as not to waste them. More times than not, I do not have them on hand. Please see my notes below for more tips.


  • 1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 3-4 cups rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or any neutral oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated (or if available, 2 inch galangal, sliced.) *Remove the galangal before eating if using instead of ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bottom half only, smashed and cut into 2-inch pieces *Remove before eating
  • 1-2 tbsp red curry paste (or 5 Kaffir Lime leaves, torn into pieces instead of red curry paste)
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 15oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp – 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (or you can use 2 teaspoons instead but 1 tablespoon is the sweet spot for me)
  • 1 cup white, brown or oyster mushrooms, sliced (optional)

TOPPINGS *all or a combination of the herbs below

  • 1 lime, quartered
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • fresh Thai basil leaves, sliced
  • green onions, sliced
  • chilies, sliced such as Thai chilies, serrano or jalapeno (optional)


  1. Prepare rice noodles according to the package instructions. Set aside
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Shell and devein shrimps. Keep in the fridge until ready to put in the soup.
  4. Add onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minute until onion is soft.
  5. Add ginger (or galangal), curry paste, and lemongrass. Cook for 40 seconds until curry paste is fragrant.
  6. Add coconut milk, mix with the aromatics and let simmer for a minute. (If using Kaffir lime leaves instead of curry paste, add here at this point.)
  7. Stir in the broth. Add fish sauce starting with 2 teaspoons. Add more according to your taste. Also add the mushrooms at this point, if using.
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer the soup for about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the cleaned shrimps and cook until the shrimps turn pink. (Shrimps cook fast in just about two minutes. Do not overcook.)
  10. Ladle soup over cooked rice noodles.
  11. Remove the lemongrass, Kaffir leaves and galangal, if using. (They are not meant to be eaten but used to flavor the soup.)
  12. Top with desired garnish including lime juice and cilantro or Thai basil, chilies and green onions.
  13. Enjoy!


  1. To reduce the sodium in this soup, use low sodium broth.
  2. Use less fish sauce as well by adding half a teaspoon to your bowl instead of adding it to the pot. You may omit the fish sauce but even just a little bit brings out the umami in the soup. I would recommend to add even just a tiny bit.
  3. I have made this soup 3 times already. The first two times, I did not add the lemon grass. It was still very delicious. Unless you want a certain flavor profile or want for the soup to be closer to more authentic Thai recipe, it is okay to not use lemongrass if you do not have it.
  4. Using Kaffir lime leaves instead of store bought red curry will also reduce the sodium tremendously and will even make it healthier. The flavors are different, though, just FYI. I have used both separately and they are both very good.
  5. Our grocery stores carry quite a nice selection of different Thai curry pastes. I chose the one with the least sodium. You need the paste in this recipe, not the curry sauce.
  6. You may add tofu instead of shrimp. Just drain the tofu first and squeeze as much liquid as you can. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces and drop in the soup as you would the shrimps.
  7. The traditional version of this recipe, “Tom Kha Gai” includes chicken but since I do not eat meat, I made mine with shrimp or tofu. Here is a wonderful blog, Thai Kitchen, with a recipe of Tom Kha Gai, and authentic Thai dishes.

Did you make Coconut Noodle Soup? Please leave a comment below. Enjoy!

9 responses to “Coconut noodle soup”

    • Thank you, Dorothy. It was very comforting, light and tasty. I hope that you like it. For an authentic recipe of this soup, I fixed the (broken) link on my blog to Hot Thai’s blog. Her blog is wonderful with video on how to cook this soup. Enjoy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That shrimp noodle soup with coconut looks absolutely delicious. It does remind me of Thai food, though you’ve “modified” it to taste (and health). Enjoy it in the late snowy West Coast weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It was indeed Thai-inspired. 🙂 We did not get snow in San Francisco but in a way I am glad that we did not. It is unbelievable to see that some people have to tunnel through the snow from their front door just to get supplies or assistance! I am grateful that we do not have to deal with the catastrophe that this bizarre weather has caused many communities to suffer this winter! Take care and Happy Spring! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, It seems like California did take the snow from New York this year! It is unbelievable to see that some people have to burrow through the snow from their front door just to get supplies or assistance! I wanted to for it to snow in San Francisco but in a way, I am grateful that we do mot have to deal with the catastrophe that thehistoric bizarre weather this winter! Take care and Happy Spring! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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