Thai Corn Chowder

  I have had a week of preserving food from my ambitious garden.  I have tomatoes coming out of my ears!  I have spent the past week bottling tomatoes, salsa and green chili taco sauce.  Am I the only one out there that still bottles fruits and vegetables to store for the winter? 

That is the reason for my lack of posting.  Let's get busy.

I have wanted to post this recipe for Thai Corn Chowder before the local corn season is over.  Unfortunately/fortunately we have had a warm fall and I haven't felt like a hot chowder.  This week has cooled a bit and I was lucky enough to find some corn at a local stand.  Lucky for me.

I think Thai food is our family favorite.  We can all agree on Thai.  That is why I raised an eye brow when I saw this recipe printed in our local newspaper last year and just got around to trying this year.  It received thumbs up from everyone.  We pretty much love anything that has coconut milk.  Who wouldn't?  Oh, that would be you, Evan!  What's your deal???

Let's start with the broth.  This can be made in advance and refrigerated making the chowder part much quicker to prepare. 

You will need chicken stock/broth, 4 ears of corn, red skinned potato (dug fresh from the garden just moments prior to this picture), lemon grass, ginger, scallions (green onions), peppercorns, garlic and water.

In a large pot, add the water,

chicken broth,

8 peppercorns.

Smash the 4 cloves of garlic.  I just use the blade of my knife and give it a good whack.

Add to the pot.

Cut the lemon grass into thirds.

With the back of the knife pound the lemon grass.  This will open the stalks up so the flavor will enhance the broth. 

Breath in deeply.  Can you smell the lemon scent.  I love this stuff.

Roughly chop the potato.

You will need 1 cup.  Add to the pot.

Cut a piece of ginger about 1-inch long.  Peel the ginger.

Slice it.

Stack the slices and cut thin strips.  Add to the pot.

Roughly chop the scallions.

Add the scallions to the pot.

We now have to cut the corn kernels from the cobs.  This can be such a messy job.  I have had more kernels on my floor, up the walls and cupboards than on my cutting board.

Here is my solution.

You will need an angel cake pan.

Put the end of the corn in the center hole and of the angel food cake pan.

Cut the corn kernels off of the cob. The kernels will fall into the pan.

Reserve the corn kernels for the chowder.

Add the cobs to the pot.  Bring the broth to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for one hour.

After an hour of simmering, strain broth through a large strainer.

Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Discard the solids and reserve the broth for the chowder.

For the the chowder you will need,butter, 1 can coconut milk, reserved corn kernels, red-skinned potatoes, jalapeno, scallions, ginger, basil, mint, cilantro and 1/2 lime.

In a large pot melt the butter.

Add the reserved corn kernels.

Dice 2 cups of red-skinned potatoes.

To dice to potato, cut in half.

Looks like this is cut into thirds...oh well.

How thick you slice the potato really depends on how large of diced potatoes you want in your chowder.

I like my potatoes diced on the small end.

Add the potatoes to the corn and butter.

Saute for about 10 minutes.

Lightly season with salt.

Take a piece of ginger about 1-inch in length.  Peel the ginger and slice.

Cut the slices into strips.

Dice the thin strips.

Dice and see 1 jalapeno.  This is actually a Serrano chili.  I wanted a little more heat in the chowder so I switched.

Cut the stem off of the chili.

Cut the chili into strips. 

Discard the seeds and stem.

Dice the chili pepper.

Add the ginger and jalapeno to the corn/potato mixture.

Saute for 3-5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of the reserved broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes have cooks through.

Remove the lid from the chowder.


Add the coconut milk.

Next add the cilantro, mint and basil.

Chop the cilantro.

Chop the basil leaves.  I am using Thai basil that's why the leaves are smaller than regular basil.

Mmmmm fresh mint.

chop the basil and mint leaves.

Add the herbs to the chowder.


Squeeze in the juice from 1/2 of a lime.

Taste the chowder and adjust seasonings, if necessary, with salt and pepper.

Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish with sliced scallions and finely diced tomato.

I love the flavor of the coconut milk and infused broth.  This chowder has just a touch of heat.  Not enough for my clan, so I generally pull out the Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce so everyone can add just the right amount of heat. 

Thai Corn Chowder

For the Broth:

4 ears corn
1 cup red-skinned potato (chopped)
½ cup scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
8 black peppercorns
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into thirds and smashed
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water

For the Chowder:
4 tablespoons butter
Reserved corn kernels
2 cups red-skinned potatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cups Thai chicken broth (from above)
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
16 fresh basil leaves, chopped
16 fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lime
Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup scallions, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and diced

Cut off the corn kernels; set the kernels aside. In a larges stock pot add remaining ingredients for the broth. Bring to a boil, cover then simmer for 1 hour. Strain the broth, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

In a large pan, melt butter add reserved corn kernels and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add ginger and jalapeno; cook 3-5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add coconut milk, basil, mint and cilantro. Taste, season with salt and pepper, if needed. Stir until simmering. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Serve and garnish with chopped tomatoes and scallions.

Makes 4 servings.

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I can tell Autumn has arrived because the deer (bless their hearts) come up on my front porch and eat the flowers from my pots.  They generally start with the sweet potato vines, which are now gone.  It's a sign.

Fall is here...bring it!


  1. i love corn chowder and this sounds like a yummy variation!

  2. Thanks, Amy. It's corn chowder with a kick.

  3. I was talking to Molly today and told her about your site. She was SO excited to use it and tell her mother about it too.
    I'm going to the farmers market tomorrow to get the rest of the ingredients for this. I'm so excited to make it!

  4. Oh how I love farmers markets. Wish I was going with you.

  5. Steven Barton10/8/10, 9:36 PM

    And as you give the final squeeze of the lime into the chowder you can sing with a smile, "You put da lime in dee coconut and mix it all together. Put da lime in dee coconut and then you feel better!"

    It was delicious Janet. Thank you!

    BTW, you left off ginger from the ingredient list for the chowder portion.

  6. Hahah, Thanks Nilsson Schmilsson! I added the ginger to the recipe. Thanks for letting me know.

  7. You're not the only mom has spent the last couple weeks bottling homemade salsa from our garden tomatoes and peppers and sweet vidalia onions! And yesterday bottling homemade applesauce. Makes for a good winter.

  8. Well Whit, I just said to my husband, "I have finally finished canning this year. I can put away the canner". I have been peeling tomatoes and bottling them for the past 7 hours. But THEN I read your comment and realized that I haven't bottled applesauce yet. Ahhhh...kill joy! I'm jealous about the vidalia jealous. Your mom is awesome

  9. I know this is an old post so probably won't have much luck but, I've been trying to print your Thai soup recipe as I'd like to make it but for some reason your website won't let me print the recipe. I highlighted the recipe and used the print function on my printer but it won't recognize your website. I thought it might be a problem with my printer but after checking everything it still didn't work. I then tried printing a random recipe from another website just to see what would happen & my printer worked fine, the recipe printed with no problem.
    I'm wondering if we are not permitted to print your recipes? If this is so, could you please clarify that.
    Thank you

  10. Hi Joycelyn, I just added a "print this page" highlight. It appears under the recipe. Click on it and it should pull up a printable page for you. Sorry about bad. Please let me know if the print link doesn't work. thanks for letting me know.

  11. Hi Janet, my apologies for not responding earlier but I thought upon first checking, my comment/question about printing the recipe wasn't published for some reason. I have kept your recipe in my file and only this morning see that you've added the print this page option (it works fine) which has saved me having to write the recipe out. Thanks so much for taking the time to help.


    1. No worries. I need to get the printable recipes on all of my recipes. It's a work in progress. I'm glad it worked out.

  12. Janet, I really like your recipes. You make everything look so ..doable. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Natalie. It is very doable. A little bit of labor but so worth it.

  13. Hi Janet, just discovered your site! Enjoying it a lot. My question is, why the potatoes in the broth? It all sounds delicious though. Thai and Chinese are my favorite cousines! Having a hard time finding lemon grass, but all else is available, so I'll try it tomorrow.
    Well, you're not the only one putting food up for the winter! Just finished my 36th quart of apple sauce, same amount of tomato juice, plus salsas, sauces, beans, etc. ready for the winter....

  14. Hi Judith, I'm so glad you found me. You are one busy lady in the kitchen. The potato actually thickens the broth slightly. However, the other day I wanted to make this chowder and was pushed for time and I just used 2 cups chicken stock. It lacked the layers of flavor I love, but it was pretty dang good. In place of lemon grass you could use a bit of lemon zest. Happy cooking.