Tom Yum Chowder

Serving size: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 lemon grass stalks
  • 32 ounces low sodium seafood stock
  • 1 pound red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Grated zest from 2 large limes + 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 ripe red tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Thai masaman curry paste or to taste*
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 4 ounces cream cheese with salmon
  • 1 pound medium size fresh shrimp , peeled, deveined
  • Salt to taste


  • Basil leaves
  • More limes for garnish

Cooking Steps:

  1. Cut off the roots and upper third of lemongrass stalk and the outer leaves. Bruise inner stalk with a heavy object. In a Dutch oven, combine lemongrass, seafood stock, potatoes, celery, ginger, sugar, lime zest, tomatoes, curry paste and anchovy paste. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Stir in cream cheese. Cool.
  2. When cool, remove lemongrass. Place everything in Vitamix blender and puree.
  3. Pour chowder back into pan and add shrimp. Simmer, stirring until shrimp is cooked through. Stir in lime juice and adjust chowder to taste. If too thick, add some water. If too thin, simmer longer.
  4. Serve, garnish with basil and accompanied by lime slices.


Masaman curry paste is very mild, if you use regular panang curry paste, the amount needs to be adjusted.

Special note from the recipe creator, Loanne Chiu:

“This chowder is inspired by the famous Thai Tom Yum soup. When people do not feel well, they usually do not have much appetite. My chowder hopes to correct that by stimulating all tastebuds. It is salty, sour, sweetish, spicy and extremely nutritious. It is a complete meal as it has potatoes, vegetables, and plenty of protein. I used cream cheese with salmon instead of coconut milk to make it extra nutritious. By blending it in a Vitamix blender and turning it into a chowder, even patients who have difficulties swallowing will be able to eat this. If the shrimp is too difficult to eat, it can be chopped or coarsely blended also.”

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As a decade-long survivor of stage IV tongue cancer and Founder of WesternOhio Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Support, Hank refers to head and neck cancer as an “orphan” cancer: "Very little is known about head and neck cancer, and comparatively, it receives less attention than other cancers. HNCA is working to change this."Hank Deneski
Survivor of Stage IV tongue cancer and Founder of WesternOhio Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Support

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