Creamy Fish Chowder

This creamy fish chowder gets a Thai makeover with flavors of coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and lime, for a unique spin on a comfort food favorite.

Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Keyword chowder
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 to 12
Calories 545 kcal


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 pound thick bacon , diced
  • 1 yellow onion , roughly chopped
  • 1/2 head of garlic , finely diced or pressed
  • 1 3- inch finger of ginger , peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Galanagal , to taste
  • Cayenne pepper , to taste
  • 2 stalks celery , sliced
  • 2 carrots , peeled and sliced
  • 4-8 ounces white wine
  • 5-6 red potatoes , unpeeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (chicken or fish stock also work)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass , cleaned and smashed
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves ( or 1 heaping teaspoon lime zest)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 2 15- ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1 pound raw Copper River salmon , skinned and shredded or rustically cut
  • Cilantro leaves and red jalapeño , for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, whisking continually, or until the flour browns lightly and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Slowly cook the bacon in a heavy stockpot over medium heat until the bacon fat is rendered and the bacon begins to crisp. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, galangal and cayenne pepper. Then add in the carrots and celery, stir and sauté until the vegetables become soft.
  3. Stir in the wine and cook until the wine has reduced and absorbed into the veggies. Add the potatoes and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves or zest, milk and the cream.
  4. Raise to medium high heat and bring mixture to a low boil. Stir in the roux and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  5. You can cool at this point and save for later, or add the coconut milk and any extra seasonings to taste.
  6. When the soup is hot and creamy, add the chopped fish and simmer for a few minutes until the fish is just done and still tender.

Recipe Notes

recipe from Mikal Berry of Fishwives Food Truck, Cordova Alaska

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Fish Chowder
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 545 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 543mg24%
Potassium 1245mg36%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 3237IU65%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 106mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.