Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque – It's the Besh!

This spicy coconut shrimp bisque recipe was inspired by a similar soup I saw Chef John Besh make during a demo I attended at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. As I watched him make it, I couldn't wait to get back to San Francisco to give it a try.

How close is this to his version? I have no idea, as I was drunk on tequila. Besides the coconut milk, I can barely remember what he put in it. After doing a pre-show shot with his assistants, Besh jokingly instructed the floor staff to pour the audience a shot. Minutes later, much to his delight, shots of tequila were distributed throughout the room.

Just that would have made for an amusing anecdote, but it didn't stop there. By the time the demo ended 45 minutes later, we had enjoyed five rounds of drinks, with Besh and his sous chef more than keeping pace. Remarkably, when the show ended, the well-oiled chef had managed to produce a seriously delicious looking bisque with dumplings. What a show off.

Anyway, I know it's been a while since I posted a real video recipe, but I really think this one will have been worth the wait. I loved how this turned out, and I think you will as well. I hope you give it a try, and maybe tweak it with some different combinations of seafood and garnishes. Cheers! Err, I mean, enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp, shells reserved
2 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced jalapeno
1/4 cup flour
2 cups prepared tomato soup
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon red curry paste, or to taste
salt and/or fish sauce to taste
basil chiffonade
rice crackers

View the complete recipe

49 comments:

averagebetty said...

Because it tastes like God :) LOL Looks delicious, Chef!

Amie said...

You have completely demystified making shrimp bisque for me! And can I tell you, the moment I started playing the video, my sleepy cat got up off my lap and put her law up on the desk and was watching your video. Then she got up on the desk and put her nose directly to the video. You had her at, "Hello!" Me too, by the way.

Chef John said...

Thanks ladies! :-)

Andy said...

It looks delicious. I suppose you couldn't mention the brand of tomato soup you used?

Would you say this makes 4 servings?

Carolyn™ said...

Cant wait to make this it looks so good.

Matt_W. said...

Hey chef John! Thank you for the Awesome video!
quick question. Can I use a thai red curry paste? or is that what you used?

Chef John said...

andy, used Pacific Foods - Organic Creamy Tomato Soup

matt, yes!

Rita said...

that looks so good and perfect for the nippy weather we've been having.

Chop said...

Warm bowls sound great, but what if I have something else in the oven already? Is there some secret chef magic to warming bowls besides a 150 oven?

Chef John said...

20 seconds under very hot tap water does the trick!

Anonymous said...

Chef John I love your blog and am glad that you are back from your video recipe hiatus. Two things:
I thought the holy trinity of cajun cooking always included garlic, am I wrong?
Second, wouldn't you agree that it would have been better to saute the curry paste with the butter for a few seconds instead of just adding it to the liquid?

cb said...

Ah...if only I felt I could trust the safety of gulf seafood again. May have to try this with a nice Maine Lobstah instead.

Chef John said...

I think you can. The testing they are requiring down there is pretty intense. Also, the stuff I'm getting is not coming from areas that were in the spill.

Chef John said...

You can certainly add garlic, but the classic trinity is what I stated. At least that what my NOLA sources tell me. yes, I just forgot to saute in butter. More important for dry spices, but still a good idea.

Birder said...

Looks delicious, Chef. Thanks!

I have to ask though: why exactly do you only incite people to buy non-farmed seafood? Do you not use farmed meat in your recipes?

(Not trying to be a prick... just curious!)

Chef John said...

Not all farmed meat is created equal! Not a philosophical thing at all. Farmed lamb, not problem. But if you research wild shrimp vs. farmed SE Asian shrimp I think you'll see why. Same for most farmed vs. wild salmon. etc.

Chris K. said...

If you're concerned about consuming sustainable seafood, or would just like to learn more, check out the Monterrey Bay Aquarium website:

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

You can also download a "watch list" that will help you make more informed choices at your local fishmonger.

San-Man said...

Nice to finally see some video recipes again...I was about to ask for a refund... =P

I'm eagerly awaiting the companion video to this one, "Son of a Bisque"...yes, I went there...

Keep up the good work, Chef...

Anonymous said...

Omg, this was absolutely amazing. Splurged and went to whole foods to get gulf shrimp, good tomato soup, green onions, etc. THANK YOU. Also, microwaves work well to warm plates prior to serving

Anonymous said...

"or something else" & "tastes like god" had me laughing out loud, you are too funny!!

Asian Malaysian said...

SEA shrimp hater!

Kdoorc said...

Chef John, I made this recipe with gulf shrimp for my boyfriend and my friend John, and they were both wowed. Thanks for making such a delicious dish look so easy to make.

Chef John said...

great!!

Nicolas Gaviola said...

Dear Chef John, my girlfriend and I (me french, she Irish) think you absolutely rock. We did this today and it was fabulous. Thank you for all the great recipes, we owe many a great dinner to you. Nico and Poppy from London.

Chef John said...

Thanks!

Diego said...

Hi Chef John.
I have a small doubt, have you used green garlic? and if I do not have the jalapeno pepper, I can use another pepper? which pepper?
Thanks (sorry for my bad English, I am Brazilian and I love your blog)

Steven K. said...

Chef John,

I thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable recipe. I had exactly 15 semi-peeled & deveined U/15 shrimp in my freezer, so this worked out perfectly. My question is about the "vein." My (ocean caught) shrimp already had the top vein removed, but after removing the rest of the shell, it looked like there was another, smaller vein on the bottom of the shrimp. This one actually did look like it might be a real vein. I removed it, but I was wondering if this one is OK to leave, since it isn't full of poop.

Thanks.

Chef John said...

No, you just have to remove the vein along the top. You could have left hat. Thanks!

Phillip M. said...

Chef John,
I have the same doubts that Diego. If I don't have the jalapeno pepper, Can I use another pepper? which pepper?

Thanks.

Chef John said...

Yes, of course! Any fresh pepper will work!

Phillip M. said...

Thanks Chef.

Your blog is amazing...

Anonymous said...

You were right, it was worth the weight, I mean wait. Seafood bisque simplified is one to learn with a daughter who doesn't eat livestock. It was as if you read my mind because I just discovered bisque and got all excited in a crappy soup buffet! I've been getting the ladies thanks to your recipes! (Remember the Thai green coconut chicken? !!)

Johnny in Phx said...

You were right it was worth the weight, I mean wait. You read my mind with the seafood bisque simplified. I just discovered Bisque to my delight in a crappy soup buffet. You know, Chef John, I've been getting the ladies with your recipes :D (Remember your Thai green coconut shrimp?? !!)

Anonymous said...

Made it last night and words cannot explain how good it was!

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Kelly said...

hahaha... "or, something else..."

this is why I love this blog.

Faith said...

Tried this tonight, and when I first got to the "taste for seasoning" part, I was bitterly disappointed. But turns out it's just cause the organic tomato soup I used was HORRIBLE. So bland. I was stupid and didn't taste it before using it. I would have been better off with the red and white label. Tip for anyone else with this problem: I added like 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, and that brightened it right up. Totally delicious after that! I will definitely make it again as soon as I find a better soup!

Birder said...

I just made this and am devouring it as I type. Can't believe how good it is by using actual shrimp stock!

I doubled the recipe and used green curry paste (didn't have any red on hand).

Thanks for giving me a new delicious soup to add to my repertoire!

As an aside, have you considered making haggis as a food wish? Would love to learn your take on it!

Jamaal said...

What brand(s) curry paste and fish sauce do you prefer?

Chef John said...

Just from the supermarket, "Thai Kitchen" I think.

Bobby said...

Chef John. Do you use sweetened coconut milk, or unsweetened?

Chef John said...

unsweetened!

mdb139 said...

I made this tonight for my wife and me and it was amazing! The addition of the coconut milk and curry paste gives it just a hint of something exotic, and the shrimp cooked this way just melted in your mouth. Wow. Just... Wow.

First, if you've never made shrimp stock before (I have not) be prepared. It smells wonderful.

I pretty much followed the recipe as written and demonstrated, but only used one small jalapeno -- so it was probably a bit less than called for and went a little heavier on the celery (one whole stalk) and green onion (three whole stalks). I did sweat my curry paste before adding the liquids. I don't have fish sauce so I salted, and though it needed more than the 1/2 tsp I used, and I did put in just a pinch of cayenne when tasting the broth (I thought it needed more heat still, but as it was it was very subtlely spicy).

For those wondering how to divide the butter: I went half in the stock and half in the soup, but ended up needing more butter to make the roux... Had I been paying more attention I would have realized that before dividing (I think roux usually use equal parts fat and flour, and 3 tbsp = 1/4 cup).

It's winter and nice fresh basil is hard to come by, so I skipped that and finished mine with a quarter cup of rice instead of crackers.

Allisa4757 said...

What about the chemicals they used in the gulf? I don't trust the gulf water shrimp.

Thanks for a great bisque, I may use it with another seafood.

Allisa4757 said...

Censoring your comments regarding "gulf" shrimp? Give me a break. Unsubscribed John.

Chef John said...

Wow, relax. All comments have to wait until I read them to be approved. I don't monitor the blog 24/7. You can think what you want about the gulf shrimp, but you'd be wrong. Do some actual research.

smodizzle said...

So so so good!! We made your jambalaya recipe last week an tonight tried this one! Love it! I'm about to surf your blog for what's going to be on the menu tomorrow! I thank you, my husband thanks you and my very happy tummy thanks you!!!

mcfly said...

or something else... you're too funnee! I've been a big fan/follower home cook for a year now. I love this soup! You probably have a lot of Asian connections because this is the first time I've seen anyone do what we, Filipinos do to shrimp shells(Only diff is we always have heads attached to that shrimp, American shrimps are always headless ;-). Fantastic!
Only thing I changed was the addition of choice(we call it 'atsuete' liquid for more color. Love all your recipes & great sense of funny!

frankha41 said...

My usual method for warming plates or bowls quickly is to heat in the microwave oven for about 2 to 2 minutes depending on the plates/or bowls,some heat quicker than others. This if for 4 plates/bowls