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Beef and Coconut Soup with Crispy Shallots


Pan-fried until crisp, shallots are served as a crunchy garnish; coconut milk, ginger, plus the heat of jalapeno add up to Asian flavor.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, December 2006


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots (5 to 6 ounces total), peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
  • 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler (about 2 cups)
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (3 inches long), peeled and finely minced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), finely minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1 sirloin steak (12 ounces), thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest and 1/4 cup juice (from about 2 limes)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add 3/4 cup shallots; cook, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the pan oil.

  2. In same pan over medium heat, add mushrooms, carrots, ginger, jalapeno, and remaining cup shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cook until carrots have softened and mushrooms have begun to release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add coconut milk, beef, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice; remove from heat.

  4. Ladle soup into serving bowls; garnish with shallots and, if desired, cilantro leaves.

Cook's Notes

Cook this main ahead of time without compromising flavor. Refrigerate up to two days, then reheat over medium-low, stirring frequently.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Heynen
    8 NOV, 2012
    I took the advise of mckulley1 and did the ratio of 2 cans of coconut milk with 2 cups of water, added 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 2 pinches of saffron, but I also added 1 tsp of honey and was happy with it as a soup. I also used regular onions instead of shallots and fried the beef along with the onions and mushrooms. For the life of me I have no idea how you get crispy onions this way, but caramelized worked too.
  • mckulley1
    13 JUN, 2011
    I was really disappointed with this recipe. Ended up turning it into a rice/curry stew by adding white rice, curry, cinnamon, and saffron. The meat was wonderful but if I were to make this again, I would have caramelized the meat with the onions first. I also would have forfeited one cup of water for another can of coconut milk.