Discovering New Tastes – Spicy Thai Lobster Soup

April 12, 2014


Lobster bisque is a classic soup, but adding a Thai twist turns it into a heavenly dish to be savored with every spoonful. Many chefs prepare the lemongrass paste with a combination of galangal, kaffir lime, scallion, garlic, lemongrass and garlic. It’s commonly known as Tom Yum Paste. However, recipes vary as each chef likes to add their own personal touch.

Once all of the ingredients are assembled, it doesn’t take too long to make the soup. That’s the simplicity of Thai cooking. When you make Thai lobster, it’s best not to settle with canned lobster, as the shells add a great flavor to the soup.

Spicy Thai Lobster Soup recipe from Chef John Doherty of the NYC Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Executive chef Doherty creates both a beautiful looking and tasting soup with his own special recipe. He uses female lobsters because its caviar turns a lovely pink-red color.

Ingredients for the Bisque:


* live female lobsters
* 1 cup brandy
* 2 cups sliced red onion
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
* 2 cups diced fennel
* 1 cup dice lemongrass
* 2 dried bay leaves
* 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
* 6 cups unsweetened coconut milk
* 1/2 cup squeezed lime juice
* 1/2 cup minced ginger
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Ingredients for the Garnish:

* 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
* 2 finely diced mangoes
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preparing the Bisque

Using a cleaver, remove the dark green egg sack and reserve it. Remove and discard the innards from the lobster head. Separate tail, claw joints and claws. Then, chop the body and claws into 2-inch pieces. Do the same for each lobster.

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot until it is shimmering and hot. Add the lobster heads and pieces until the shells are a bright red. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove shells and place in a bowl. Pour brandy into the pan and deglaze for about two minutes. Pour these contents into the bowl with the lobster.

Heat the remaining oil and add the fennel, red onion and lemongrass to cook. Add garlic and ginger and cook about three more minutes. Slowly, add the curry paste, coconut milk, bay leaves, 6 cups of water, thyme and simmer for about four minutes. Remove lobster tails and let them cool. Then, add the tail meat. Pass the lobster sac through a sieve and whisk into the soup. Simmer for about one hour.

Prepare the garnish and serve

Preparing the garnish takes just seconds. Mix the diced lobster tail meat with the diced mango in a bowl. Add the vinegar and basil and mix well. Arrange the mango and lobster in the center of the soup bowls and pour the soup on top. Also, prepare yourself for a delightful culinary delight. This recipe serves eight people.