Thai bouillabaisse

by Heguiberto on September 15, 2011

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I always ordered this dish when eating out at the Thai Pavilion restaurant in Astoria, Queens, my favorite Thai place when we lived in New York. There they called it Potek. It was this clear aromatic and spicy broth with loads of fish and shellfish. After moving to San Francisco, I learned to make it myself because I got tired of asking at restaurants whether they could accommodate my needs by making the soup with vegetable broth or just plain water. Plus I like making Thai food.

Thai bouillabaisse with salmon and clams

Thai bouillabaisse with salmon and clams

The soup can be like Tom Yum on steroids. Beyond shrimp, potek is packed with other types of seafood, such as fish, clams, mussels, sea scallops, crab claws or lobster. Heaven! You can use the seafood of your choice, like I did here: this time, just salmon and clams.

key ingredients for Thai bouillabaisse

key ingredients for Thai bouillabaisse

Thai bouillabaisse

7½ cups water
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed with a cleaver
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 inch piece of galangal root, cut into chunks
½ cup cilantro, chopped
10 mint leaves
10 Thai basil leaves
½ Thai red chili pepper cut in thin rounds
1 tsp garlic chili pepper
½ tsp sugar
7 tbsp fish sauce
Kosher salt
3 small individual pieces of sushi grade king salmon
1 lb clams
1 cup button mushrooms, quartered

Bring water to a boil then add lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal root. Simmer for about 10 minutes so flavors meld. Add garlic chili paste, sugar, salt and fish sauce. Adjust flavor with more fish sauce, salt or chili sauce for spicier results. Add clams and cook for a couple of minutes or until they begin to open, add mushroom followed by the salmon. Remove from heat. Let it poach in the broth. Toss in Thai basil, red chili, mint and cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a side of Thai Jasmine rice.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife September 15, 2011 at 3:36 am

I’ve only recently had my first bouliabasse, and it was such a special dish. I’d love to try this Thai version, it looks spectacular.
*kisses* HH
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Anna September 15, 2011 at 8:11 am

I’ve never made one. And usually steer clear of fish in soup. But Thai and salmon? Can’t resist. Might have to fight my fears and go for it.
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Krista September 15, 2011 at 11:17 am

Oh my goodness, this looks so fantastic! I adore all the fresh herbs you used, and can only imagine how delicious that broth is. I have a sore throat and achy head tonight and would love a steaming bowl of this. 🙂
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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors September 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I adore your bouillbaisse that celebrates the traditional tom yum soup base. I love everything about this Heguiberto. Just phenom 🙂

chow 🙂 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

Heguiberto September 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

Get well soon! Funny thing is that I was feeling just like that when I made this. A spicy and herbal flavored soup helps relieve cold. It clears the respiratory tract!

OysterCulture September 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Your version sounds spectacular, I love the traditional kind, but this is just special.
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Kathryn September 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

Looks absolutely amazing!
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