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Shrimp Chowder Thai-Style

Shrimp Chowder Thai Style combines the heartiness of a chowder with Asian notes of [dairy free] coconut milk and curry paste. Creamy, spicy and fabulous.

Shrimp Chowder Thai Style in a bowl with buttered bread on the side

I made this shrimp chowder on Friday evening, set down a big steaming bowl with some crusty buttered bread on the desk where my husband was playing xbox with his friends from England (a regular Friday night stint) and went off to eat dinner with my parents (also a regular Friday night activity).  Half an hour later, I received a text “Delicious chowder! Don’t change a thing!” :).

I wasn’t sure if this east meets west marriage would work, but it does. My family and friends love it. You get the comfort of a typical chowder with creaminess, soft potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and thyme-marjoram-bay leaf seasonings…along with the Asian Thai flavors of curry paste and coconut milk.  And no dairy. I throw in some baby spinach and red pepper to add beautiful color (and extra nutrition) and sliced water chestnuts for crunchy texture.

I used shrimp in this recipe, but of course you can add other firm flesh fish or clams as well.

Regardless, the end result is a creamy, hearty, spicy chowder loaded with vegetables and shrimp. Comfort food with a twist. Serve it in summer or winter as a full meal with some good bread or as a starter.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Vary the seafood you add.
  • Substitute seafood with chicken.
  • Instead of shrimp, add more vegetables or tofu for a vegetarian version.
  • Use light coconut milk to reduce the calories.
  • If you love a shrimp Thai dish, but don’t want to make the chowder part, try our Thai curried shrimp and vegetables.

Make Ahead Shrimp Chowder Thai-Style

  • The chowder can be made ahead to the point where you add the shrimp. The trick is to add the shrimp in the last few minutes of cooking to keep it tender and not rubbery. Come to think of it, this soup would be a perfect dish for Christmas Eve for those who stick to a seafood menu.

Shrimp Chowder Thai Style in a bowl

Shrimp Chowder Thai Style in a bowl with buttered bread on the side
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5 from 14 votes

Shrimp Chowder Thai-Style Recipe

Shrimp Chowder Thai Style combines the heartiness of a chowder with Asian notes of [dairy free] coconut milk and curry paste. Creamy, spicy and fabulous
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, soups and starters
Cuisine: Thai-Style
Servings: 3 main course (or 6 as a starter)
Author: Cheryl


Chowder Part

  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded or matchstick carrots
  • 1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoon red or green curry paste
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram

Shrimp and Finishing Part

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, de-veined, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (optional)
  • squeeze of lemon or lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • SAUTE VEGETABLES: In a large pot, heat the butter on medium high and saute carrots, celery and onions for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes, water chestnuts and curry paste. Stir in flour. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • ADD LIQUIDS AND SEASONINGS: Add broth, coconut milk and seasonings. Bring to boil, stirring. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender and broth is thickened.
  • ADD SHRIMP AND FINISH CHOWDER: Increase heat to medium high. When broth is at a low boil, stir in shrimp and spinach (if using). Cook for 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in lemon to taste, starting with 1/4 of a lemon. Remove bay leaf and serve.


To make ahead: When soup finishes simmering, cool and refrigerate. When ready to use, heat the soup and complete the last step of adding shrimp and spinach.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 412mg | Sodium: 1763mg | Potassium: 891mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7561IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 5mg
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Here’s another Thai-Style soup you might like:

Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Thai-inspired butternut squash soup in bowl with garnish 5
Just a few simple ingredients create this creamy, smooth, flavorful Thai-inspired butternut squash soup with some nice heat.  And it only takes about 30 minutes to make.
Get the recipe

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Used kale from the winter garden in lieu of spinach and boiled the prawn shells for stock. You can Thai just about anything in season and it’s always delish. Thanks for the recipe