Surin’s Coconut Soup

I love remaking some of my favorite dishes from restaurants. This one comes from my favorite restaurant in Birmingham – yes you guessed it, Surin. For the 10 years I have been going to this restaurant my order never changes (well except for the 9 months of pregnancy I could not have sushi). I get a volcano roll which is spicy tuna and cucumber on the inside and tuna, avocado, eel sauce on the outside with the best spicy aioli ever made. I also get an order of crab angels (also known as crab rangoon).

Surin's Coconut Soup

But one of the things I love most is the complimentary bowl of Coconut Tofu Soup that comes out before the meal.

I knew I had to reinvent this dish since I could enjoy it during our monthly visits back home. I mean let’s be honest I was indulging in this meal probably once a week when we were living there. After perfecting the recipe I decided to kick it up a notch by making it a little spicy. So feel free to omit some of the chili oil if you want it a little less spicy.

Surin's Coconut Soup

This recipe also calls for tofu. If you were anything like me I claimed to not like it without even trying it but I believe it adds another depth to this soup. With all that to say I am so glad I got to remake this dish so I can have a little taste of home in my very own kitchen.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Spicy Coconut Soup
  • 6 lemongrass stalks (remove lower bulb & outer sheath and cut into 3 inch pieces)*
  • 1½ tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste (you can find this in the ethnic food section; use half of this amount if you want a less spicy soup)
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (ethnic food section)
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. red pepper oil/ red chili oil (ethnic food section, use half of this amount if you want a less spicy soup or substitute olive oil
  • 4 ounces of mushrooms
  • 2 scallions
  • Tofu cut into small cubes, optional
  1. Heat chili oil in a stockpot on medium -low heat. Add lemongrass (or lemon zest), garlic and ginger. Cook. Stirring constantly so it won't burn for 30-60 sec until it becomes aromatic. Add curry paste, cook for about 30 sec.
  2. Add 3 cups of chicken stock to dissolve the curry paste. Stir until it dissolves. Add remaining stock, fish sauce, and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. If adding mushrooms, add about 5 min before next step. If adding tofu cook as directed on package then add in.
  4. Stir in coconut milk and lime juice. Cook for 5 min. Remove lemongrass with strainer, if you used this.
*if using lemongrass paste use 3 tablespoons or zest of 1 lemon

Are you like me – do you have a favorite dish at a restaurant that you always order and vow to never try anything else again?

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Lauren Hall

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  1. ¡I must have this spicy coconut soup you speak of!

  2. Oooooo! Thanks for posting I LOVE Thai coconut soups!

  3. Kaitlyn Casteel says:

    What if I wanted chicken instead of tofu?

    • Kaitlyn – Chicken would be great in it! You could either bake or poach the chicken and then dice it up and put it in at the end.

  4. OH yes!! This looks awesome and I LOOOOOVE the bowl and spoon!

  5. If I’m using lemongrass paste is it still 3 tbsp? And what size can of coconut milk?

    You get my exact meal from Surin and I cannot wait to make this tonight!

    • Trish use a 14 fl oz can for the coconut milk. As for the lemongrass paste I have never tried it this way and from my research I cannot find an equivalent. My suggestion would be to start by adding 1 Tbsp and adjust the flavoring from there. I apologize and would love to hear how the paste works out. I will try to find some paste myself and experiment with it. Thank you for giving me something to look further into.

  6. The BEST soup in the world.

  7. I don’t why I’m sadder- that I can’t eat at Surin anymore or that I never knew about the complementary soup… *lesigh* thanks for the recipe nonetheless! 🙂

  8. Thank you sooo much!!! I moved to Houston four years ago and miss Surin’s coconut soup. I took a chance to google the recipe. Surin West on the Southside was my favorite lunch spot.

    • When we moved to Indy for 3 years I was without it too so I understand your pain. I hope you try it and you can reminisce about the flavors. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. What’s the best way to strain out the lemongrass without the mushrooms and tofu getting in the way? Or do you just have to add those back in when you finish straining it?

    • Gavin I have updated the recipe to make it more clear. If you cut them into larger pieces you can use the strainer to get them out without having to take the mushrooms and tofu out.

  10. I made this last night. It was amazing! It tasted JUST like the soup from Surin. I couldn’t believe it. So easy to make. Hard to mess up. Thank you so much

  11. Linda Turner says:

    I could not find straw mushrooms, so just bought some button mushrooms. Do you cook these at all before adding, or just slice them thinly and add? I have been wanting to make this soup for years, and finally I have found all of the ingredients except I forgot the chili oil I do have some olive oil infused with chili and rosemary (like a zesty dipping sauce). I wonder if that would work. Oh – and I’ll have to run get a lime – but this is being made this weekend! I live in Huntsville and we go to Surin often. Anytime I am feeling down, a bowl of this soup will lift my spirits! Better than traditional southern chicken soup if you’re feeling tummy sick! Last question: Do you think this soup would freeze well? It’s a lot to make at one time. If not good for freezing, how long would a batch last in the fridge?

    • I just slice the mushrooms then add them a few minutes before adding coconut milk. I have never frozen it before. If you do try make sure to let it cool completely and when reheating it there might be a little more of a grainy texture. But I hope you enjoy this soup. It’s one of our favorites!

  12. S.D Clayton says:

    Do you have a recipe for the Pad Prik?

  13. Which store do you find all the ingredients. Can’t wait to make it.

  14. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! My girlfriend and I love it! We both think it tastes even better than the soup from Surin !

  15. Grateful for this recipe! I am addicted to this soup and have searched and searched for this recipe.yay!!!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I was at Surin for lunch and the soup was so amazing I had to look up how to make it. Thankfully, there’s a new Asian supermarket in Homewood so finding all the ingredients was super easy. Again, I appreciate your sharing.

  17. What is the total servings for this?

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