Coconut Curried Seafood Soup

There are certain dishes that are, quite simply, too ethereal to describe in words. This soup, a bowl of pure magic, is one of them. If you have sampled this silky creation, with its lashings of coconut and hints of spice, and generously decadent seafood, then you could not possibly disagree. Executive Chef Godfrey Kinyanjui shares the recipe for our Coconut Red Curried Seafood Soup.

Recipe serves approximately eight portions.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (minced)
  • 3 cans (small) coconut milk
  • 2 cans cooking cream
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock (you may substitute with chicken stock powder)
  • 2 red peppers, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon Hondashi (to taste)
  • 500g king prawns


  1. Start by sweating the onion in a hot pot with the oil, then add ginger & garlic. When the onion is almost translucent, add the red curry paste, then stir in the lemongrass and the peppers. Cook for a while.
  2. At this stage, add the prawns. You may add any other seafood pieces you like: at the Fig Tree, we add calamari and mussels. The prawns are a must, though! (A resident shared that they had used lobster and it came out great). If you are adding calamari, note that we grill it separately and add into the soup just before we serve. Prawns and mussels are braised in the soup.
  3. Add the chicken stock (I actually prefer the chicken stock powder). Pour your coconut milk in just about the same time as the cooking cream. Then, let the soup simmer. This must be done before your prawns are fully cooked. These need to cook in the cream so all the flavour is released fully.
  4. Add Hondashi to taste, as the soup simmers. This is the secret ingredient in this soup.
  5. Finish off with grated parmesan (optional). This will help you achieve a beautiful, thick consistency.

Chef G’s Tips:

  • Salt is not necessary, as Hondashi is already quite salty.
  • The measurements here are simply a guideline. As you cook the soup, taste it to adjust according to your preference. For example, the red curry paste and lemongrass gives the soup a gentle “sting”. When you add these ingredients, taste to ensure the heat is to your liking. If you find the soup too hot, add a bit more cream. If you want to increase the heat, add in more curry paste.

Serve the soup with toasted ciabatta, as we do in the Fig Tree. There is simply nothing better than mopping up the last of the soup with crunchy slivers of bread (it is t