Today’s Lunch: Springtime in Bangkok


This recipe has a hint of familiarity with Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks Ginger Coconut Milk Soup . It has grated ginger, noodles and a tin of coconut milk in common. Otherwise it’s not her recipe at all, but I reckon inspiration is 90% of the task done, so credit to her given for combining coconut milk and ginger. Coconut milk is very high in calories and fat solids, so be aware of that if you’re on a fat or calorie restricted diet. But it is quite tasty. Mr Misk says that this is reminiscent of Thai soup but without the inferno – he likes things hellishly hot. I call this soup Springtime in Bangkok, as surely it’s springtime somewhere in the world. It’s not here; snow on Dartmoor this morning, and it’s mid-May.


Springtime in Bangkok

(serves 2 hungry people or 4 as a starter)

Ingredients: coconut milk, chicken stock, fresh ginger, onion, garlic, chilli flakes, asparagus, thin dried noodles, crab sticks, chives to garnish.

Method: In a large heavy-bottom pot add the following, stir, and bring to a simmer –

one tin coconut milk (note: this is high calorie and high fat)
500ml mild chicken stock from stock cube is fine
2T freshly grated ginger
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup chopped/sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves grated
pinch of chilli flakes
zest of one lemon

In a separate large pan, bring salted water to a boil, and add:

8-10 asparagus spears, cut into bite-size pieces and blanched quickly in boiling water for maximum 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, and chill in a bowl of iced water. Set aside.

Bring the pan of water back up to a boil, adding more water if needed, and add:

sufficient dried noodles for two people. Cook as per package instructions. I used wheat vermicelli noodles. Cook al dente as they’ll continue to cook in the coconut milk mixture later when all the ingredients are combined and warmed. When the noodles have finished cooking, drain and keep them in a bowl of iced water until needed. Set aside.

Cut up crab sticks into bite-sized pieces, and add to the simmering pot of coconut milk/stock. Drain the noodles; add to the pot. Drain the asparagus; add to the pot. Slowly bring the soup back up to a simmer, and heat until all ingredients are hot.

Taste and adjust seasonings if required. I added more chilli pepper, as a pinch wasn’t enough. Garnish with fresh chives or chopped parsley – something green.

Mr Misk liked it ….. ‘nuff said.


19 Comments Add yours

  1. J9 says:

    How many crab sticks do you use? This looks so yummy! I’m one of the ones to stay away from coconut milk, although I love it so. I would just add less, or double the rest of the recipe and maybe still add more chicken stock to thin it out without losing the coconut flavor.

    1. Misky says:

      Maybe 6 for two people, cut into small pieces. Don’t stir them too much in the soup though because the silly little things start to unroll like a roll of toilet paper being chased by a puppy. As for the coconut milk, have you considered using a few drops of imitation coconut flavouring to give it the extra kick? When I was in America last time, I bought several bottles from the baking/spice aisle of Safeway. It works a charm if you’re trying to keep fat or calories reduced. Just shout if you have more questions. 😀

  2. cecilia says:

    That looks like something john would love, though like Mr misky he likes things hot too! I have to tell you my dry waller has come and he SINGS! just like your guys, but in spanish and with the acoustics in the coupe it is amazing! John says wash mushrooms, and I don’t telll him that i only wipe off the dirt! c

    1. Misky says:

      Isn’t it wonderful when they sing? I could never do that – far too self-conscious to sing in public, not to mention singing a solo. Does your dry waller also plaster? I had a brilliant plasterer. The walls were plastered so evenly that they had a sheen to them.

      Joanna sent me a link today, and the latest take on this to-wash-or-peel-or-not by the professionals is that we should wash, or rather rinse them. Opinion on this seems to change as quickly as a fish flip-flopping out of water. I might try rinsing just to test the result.

      Here’s the link to the article, and it makes for very interesting reading!

  3. Joanna says:

    I have recently discovered the North Sea shrimp, teeny tiny, that you can get in Waitrose and I think they would be lovely in this soup too! Remind me of the ones we used to catch in nets in Denmark when I was a kid. I love this sort of soup! Yammy!

    1. Misky says:

      Peder was reminiscing with Peter-the-Painter today about those very same little delicate shrimp, and Mr Painter had no clue what Peder was talking about. They are smaller than the ones caught off the English shores. Very delicate little treasures. When Peder is homesick, it’s for those little shrimp. Are the ones at Waitrose frozen? I must take him to Waitrose so he can have a little treat.

  4. lizzygoodthings says:

    This soup sounds delicious and interesting…. I’ve not heard of asparagus as the green in a coconut cream soup (beans, yes). What are crab sticks?

    1. Misky says:

      Asparagus in coconut cream-based soup is quite common in SE Asia and China, although it’s thinner — about the diameter of a pencil, and takes less than a minute to cook al dente. Crab sticks are processed white fish flesh that’s formed to look like crab legs. There’s a brief article on Wikipedia about them at

  5. Misky, yum! I’d love this! Though like your P, I think I’d like it a bit hotter as well!

    1. Misky says:

      I remember a little Thai restaurant in Quarry Bay in Hong Kong that was raided by the police because they thought they were making tear gas in the kitchen. People living nearby complained, and the police thought they had terrorists in the neighbourhood. Turned out to be tom yum soup on the cooker!

  6. Looks Lovely! I’m a huge fan of Thai soups so tasty. Makes such a satisfying lunch and so much more interesting than sandwiches!

    1. Misky says:

      I was quite happy to splash into a Thai-inspired soup without that icky okra stuff in it. Or the baby aubergine. I love properly grown-up aubergine but not in Thai soup when it’s whole and squidgy. As for sandwiches, they’re good if you’re on the run but otherwise they’re quite boring.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Phil! 🙂

  7. I prefer your recipe I think. It’s always nice to give a shout out though to the originator. I think if you have only 3 ingredients in common it gets to be your recipe:D I love the title and this is just my kind of soup.. It is on my list to try! I’ve been away so long.. I love your new blog look and layout! It’s Spring in Misk Cooks as well! xx

    1. Misky says:

      I’m delighted to see you back in Misk Cooks, and I look forward to reading more of your creative posts. I’m making up a batch of Bircher’s tonight (I let mine soak up all that liquid goodness overnight), and then I’ll add some strawberries in the morning. I also have a bag of pecans, so some of those will go into the mix also. I’m so glad that you reminded me of Bircher’s because we love it.

      Let me know how you get on with the soup, Barbara!

  8. This sounds just like something I would love. Fresh, simple, full of flavor. Looking forward to making it.

    1. Misky says:

      Thank you, and I hope you like it as much as we do. 😀

  9. Karen says:

    I think your spring soup sounds terrific…I think I would use a little lump crab in mine as it is readily available now.

    1. Misky says:

      Sounds lovely, Karen!

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