Thai-Style Coconut + Crabless Soup

Thai-style crabless coconut soup

I love this broth. It’s easy to make and full of clean and rich flavors. I’ve paired it here with jackfruit as a stand-in for crab and vermicelli noodles, but you can leave the noodles out or sub with ramen or rice and swap out the jackfruit with seared tofu cubes or mushrooms.

thai-inspired coconut and vegan crab soup

There’s something so satisfying with making this broth: cutting and smelling the lemongrass, ginger and garlic. Scooping out a knob of fiery red curry paste and watching all of the fatty ingredients create an oily slick that disappears with a stir and reappears again in seconds. The smell is fantastic. Taste as you go, adjusting as you like.

thai-inspired coconut and vegan crab soup


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thai-inspired coconut and vegan crab soup

Thai-Style Coconut and Crabless Soup

  • Author:
    erin wysocarski

  • Prep Time:
    20 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    30 minutes

  • Total Time:
    50 minutes

  • Yield:
    2 servings 1x


Crabless soup, using jackfruit, in a creamy broth with lemongrass, curry paste and ginger.

for the jackfruit crab

  • 1, 20 oz. can of jackfruit in brine, drained
  • 1 teaspoon kelp granules
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

for the broth

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms, bases removed and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 4 cups no-chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised and chopped into 2-3 pieces (see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup canned, full-fat coconut milk
  • the juice from half a lime (roll the lime on the counter with the palm of your hand before cutting)

to serve

  • a few torn basil leaves, lime wedges and the green slices of scallions, for garnish
  • vermicelli noodles or rice, for serving


to prep the jackfruit

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Break the jackfruit pieces up with a fork or knife, discarding any tough ends and seeds. Add the kelp granules, stir and then add the grapeseed oil, stirring again. Spread out on a small baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir around on the baking pan and bake until mostly dried out, about 10 minutes more.

to prep the broth

  1. In a large pot, warm the toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, ginger, scallions and shiitake pieces and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and saute for three minutes more.
  2. Add in the brown sugar, peanut butter and curry paste. Stir everything until well combined, then add in the broth, lemongrass and soy sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high, and allow to come to a small simmer. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes more. Remove the lemongrass pieces.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice and turn off the heat. Distribute between two bowls, topping with the jackfruit and basil.
  4. Serve immediately with rice or noodles as desired.


Bruise the lemongrass stalk to coax the most flavor out of it! Remove a few of the tough outer layers and tough tops to expose the softer, pale yellow interior. Give it a firm whack or two against the side of your countertop to loosen up the fibers. Slice lengthwise, then into two or three pieces before adding to the broth. 

thai-inspired coconut and vegan crab soup


thai-inspired coconut and vegan crab soup

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