Sauteed Spring Mushrooms, Chiles + Cilantro in Caramelized Coconut Broth

April  8, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There are a few flavor combinations that render me helpless and insatiable, and the combination of the rich sweetness of coconut milk, salty brine of fish sauce, and pucker of lime juice is arguably foremost among them. Mushrooms and a quick caramelization of the coconut milk lends depth to the broth, while spicy chiles add a slow, satisfying burn to each bite. (I happened to shop at a market where I could pick up small handfuls of a variety of mushrooms, keeping the price tag well within budget, but any one of your favorite mushrooms would work just fine here, too.) The resulting dish is very quick to make and even better than your favorite Thai takeout. —Caroline Wright

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as maitake, white beech, shiitake and white button
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece lemongrass, halved lengthwise, hard outer skin removed and smashed with a heavy skillet
  • 1 hot chile, halved (seeds removed, if desired)
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 8 ounces ounces rice noodles, soaked in hot water according to package directions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; remove to a plate. Raise heat to high. Add coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, chiles and tomatoes to pan and cook, stirring, until coconut milk becomes very thick and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes. (Meanwhile, soak rice noodles according to package directions.) Stir in stock and cook 2 minutes or until warmed through. Stir in fish sauce and lime juice, then reserved mushrooms and their juices. Serve mushrooms in coconut broth over rice noodles.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sari Fordham
    Sari Fordham
  • student epicure
    student epicure
  • Caroline Wright
    Caroline Wright
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.

6 Reviews

Laura P. November 3, 2019
This is a superb soup. I did strain out the big pieces of ginger, lemongrass and chili, and added the cherry tomatoes at the end.

I have a question: I had to make 12 servings, and it took a long time to reduce and caramelize the coconut milk. If you started with a smaller amount of coconut cream, wouldn’t that speed things up? Would it otherwise affect the balance or flavor?
Sari F. September 25, 2016
This was fantastic and it was generous about accepting adaptations. I swapped soy sauce for fish sauce and left off the tomatoes and it was still fantastic.
ktjk May 21, 2015
I seriously love this soup. It's amazing flavorful with minimal effort. I make it regularly, with veggies in season. I love the cherry tomatoes, but out of season eggplant is great too. I also always add a bunch (or 2 or 3) of baby bok choy at the end.
Debora M. December 1, 2013
This is fantastic, happy to have added this to my standard recipes! I did chop up my jalapeno, reduced the fish sauce to 2 teaspoons, and the lime juice to 1 tablespoon. It also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day- my coworkers were quite impressed haha.
student E. April 9, 2013
This looks delicious! Can't wait to make it! Are there also tomatoes in the photo?
Caroline W. May 6, 2013
Yes, I added tomatoes to the recipe (but thanks for the catch)! You could actually leave them out, though, if you didn't feel like tossing them in.