Thai Fish Soup

Thai Fish Soup Recipe

Ever since our trip to City of Hope in Los Angeles and meeting with top scientists developing cancer cures with herbs, I’ve been focusing on wisely choosing foods for my family that heal, not harm.

Thai Fish Soup Recipe

It’s tough some days, especially when we have boys’ activities that go through the late afternoon and evenings. The unhealthy, fast choices are so tempting. Even at home, I’ll admit to popping frozen bean burritos in the microwave and adding a salad to “even it out” is sometimes an option.

Thai Fish Soup Recipe

My answer to this is to stock the freezer with frozen seafood. I buy shrimp already flash frozen (you can defrost exactly as many shrimp as you need). I also buy fresh fish and then cut them up into 1-inch chunks before freezing. A tip is to freeze the fish chunks in one layer – just flatten the bag and lay flat in the freezer. It makes it so much easier and faster to defrost.

The pantry always holds cans of coconut milk, cartons of broth and dried rice noodles – making this recipe very convenient to cook.

Thai Fish Soup Recipe

This recipe is from my new favorite cookbook, called The Medicinal Chef: Eat Your Way to Better Health, by Dale Pinnock. It’s a must-have book, we’ve already tried 5 recipes, all of them just fabulous. Not only are they tasty, but with the added big benefit of knowing that I’m doing good for my family’s health.

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Take a look at the video for a peek at how this book is structured and how Dale utilizes food to heal and promote healthy living.


This Thai Fish Soup has all the flavor elements, typical of South East Asian cuisine.

Thai Fish Soup Recipe Video



Thai Fish Soup Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
thai fish soup recipe featured-0180

Recipe adapted from The Medicinal Chef: Eat Your Way to Better Health by Dale Pinnock.

Make this healthy soup a perfect light meal by adding 1/2 pound of dried rice noodles (cook the rice noodles according to package directions).

You'll season to taste with the balance of fish sauce and lime juice. Adjust with more if needed, for more intense flavor.

If you cannot find lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves, just substitute with the peel of a lemon or lime. Use a vegetable peeler to get thin strips of peel (avoid the bitter white pith) and give each strip a good bruising or twist to release the oils)

The last time we made this soup, we added fresh tomato cut into wedges too - I highly recommend that you do the same!


1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 red onion, very sliced
1/2 red chili pepper, sliced (optional)
1 stalk lemongrass, bottom stalk only, bruised (substitute with peel of lemon or lime)
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn (substitute with peel of lemon or lime)
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
6 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces salmon, cut into 1-inch chunks
assorted vegetables, such as bok choy, spinach, snow peas, kale, tomatoes, bell pepper, etc.
1 tablespoon minced cilantro


In a wok or soup pot over medium high heat, add cooking oil and swirl to coat. When hot, add in the garlic, ginger, red onion, chili pepper, lemongrass, kaffir and gently cook for about 2 minutes to release the aromas and flavors.

Pour in the coconut milk and broth and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, kaffir (or the lemon/lime peel if using) and discard. Season broth with fish sauce and lime juice to taste.

Add shrimp, salmon, vegetables and cilantro. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp and salmon is cooked through.



Legend image reprinted with permission from The Medicinal Chef © 2013 Dale Pinnock, Sterling Publishing Inc. Co. Photography by Martin Poole.


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Comments 12

  1. DanS @ MyEasyChineseRecipe

    WOW! Such a colorful and pretty soup! So simple, easy, and healthy! Thanks for sharing this great recipe and the great book. Definitely going to give it a try!
    BTW, I hope you have a great trip in Asia!

  2. Linda Pierson

    Just loved the Thai Fish Soup Recipe. I changed it a little but it was wonderful. I am growing the lemon grass, which I was so excited to have a chance to use. I subbed the lime zest for the leaves. I had a wonderful piece of red snapper from our Texas friends, so after having some wonderful blackened filets, I decided to cut the rest up into the chunks and make this soup. I had a lot of great veggies from the garden so it was nice to use the green cabbage, the red cabbage, the kale, the spinach, the green bell pepper, the cilantro, and 1/2 of a red chile. Also some precooked shrimp were thrown in at the end. It turned out so great and even tasted better the next day. Thanks for your healthy recipes. Oh, and I love chickens too!

  3. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living

    I’m always looking for new books that talk about the connection between food and health – it’s such a big part of what I do for people I cook for. The more I learn, the more I believe in the importance of eating a diverse array of fresh vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods.

  4. Eva Mondragon

    I’ve been using the miso that I told you about last time for my fish soup. I use lemon juice and tamarind powder (no fresh tamarind anywhere) for that sour taste. Now, with this recipe using the coconut milk, I’m already excited to cook it tomorrow. I have some cod and jumbo shrimp in the fridge, and I always have a stock of coconut cream. There is a kaffir tree in the garden, which I planted the very first time I visited Thailand. That was the time when I fell in love with Southeast Asian food. There is also a small bush of lemon grass, and I have the other ingredients on hand. So, everything is all set.

    By the way, Jaden, I don’t know why my kaffir tree is not fruiting. I did everything I can think of to make it fruit, so far, not even one fruit comes out of that tree!

  5. Pingback: Thai Fish Soup | Heaven's Meals

  6. beth

    This soup is just wonderful! I subbed the vegetable stock with clam juice, curry leaves instead of kafir leaves, , spring onion instead of lemongrass and stillused the lime zzest! I also used a Fresno pepper and a medium red indian chile. I also pureed some oyster mushrooms with some rice vinegar and threw that in with some pureed salmon jerkey. Topped it off with some match stick carrot, celery, basil, parsley. And, I used rainbow trout with some leftover cooked swordfish and octopus. Garnished this delicious soup with crispy fish skin and fresh spring onion! Lovely!

    1. Post

      Thank you so much Beth! Clam juice is a magic sauce in a bottle! We use it for so many things. We used to grow curry leaves, but didn’t bring the plant with us when we moved. I miss it!

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