I love fresh in season corn. I love fresh in season local corn even more.
The first of the in season local corn showed up in my local grocery store just before I left for my vacation to Vancouver, BC. This post was meant to go up while I was away, I took the photos with me, only to discover when I went to work on my post, that the images were corrupted and I had no backups with me. That’s the moment you go Duh, why didn’t I drop copies into my Dropbox.
Oh well. I still had the originals on my phone, but I was on vacation and the desire to edit was not strong 🙂 I decided to enjoy the first real vacation I’ve had in 10 years and leave the Corn Shrimp Soup recipe for when I got back home. There was far to many other interesting things to do and taste while in Vancouver, it wasn’t a hard decision to make.
One of the awesome things about my trip, besides all the awesome food I got to eat, was that I managed to pick up a new camera! Super excited about that. My old camera is probably about 12 years old, but it hasn’t been functioning well and started eating batteries at an insane rate. It was so bothersome that I actually started using my cell phone camera instead. Not the best solution, but hey, you have to use what you have at the time and make the best of it.
My new camera isn’t super fancy, has less functions than my older camera, but its a good step up from my older camera in terms of mega pixels. I’m already very happy with the over all quality of the pictures it takes. I picked up the new camera about halfway through my vacation and the improvement in overall quality is extremely noticeable. I’m really excited to see how it helps me with my food photography on Culinary Zest. I’ll be talking about my culinary adventures while on vacation in upcoming posts!
I’ve been cooking up a version of this corn shrimp soup for years, but I’ve always used canned creamed corn in the recipe. I’ve been craving a hit from this great Asian inspired corn shrimp soup for a while. It’s super easy to make, which begs the question why it took me so long to get around to it!
I spotted the local corn and decided that instead of using canned creamed corn I would go with fresh instead and play with the recipe a bit. What I ended up with was totally yummmmmmm-o! And I’ve decided that this is my new fav version of this recipe and unless my hands are tied…I’m never going with canned creamed corn again. I might have to rethink this at some point should the urge to make this recipe strikes in a non in season corn moment…let’s not think about that just yet!
I cut the corn kernels off the corn cob with a sharp kitchen knife. I set aside the corn cobs for later, I’ll be using the back of my knife to scrape the corn cobs and let the milky starch run into my saucepan.
Thaw and remove the shells from your shrimp. Reserve the shells, I add the shrimp shells to my sautéed ingredients, to add flavour to my soup base. I’ll remove the shells after my soup base has simmered, before I blend the base.
I add 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, to my saucepan over medium heat and saute half of my sliced spring onions, or as I like to call them green onions. I included half an onion, finely diced. I also add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic.
I raided my stash of roasted garlic cloves I have hidden in my freezer. I think it adds great flavour and I like to have a stash in my freezer, so when the urge strikes I can easily just grab some for some added flavour boost. I think the sweetness you get from the roasted garlic marries well with the sweetness of the fresh corn.
I add a generous handful of fresh corn kernels, as well as the shrimp shells I reserved while shelling my shrimp. I allow these ingredients to saute for several minutes, until they get some nice caramelized colour.
When your sautéed ingredients have developed enough colour, add half the chicken stock to your saucepan, add half your fresh corn kernels and 2-3 teaspoons of sriracha chili sauce. Use as little or as much as you like, I adore sriracha sauce and I go for a healthy amount, that I don’t actually measure out, I just squirt away until I think I’ve added enough for my liking.
I love sriracha sauce so much that if I walk by a restaurant, food cart or food truck and I see that red bottle with green top staring back at me…I’m going to eat there, cause it has to be good if they have bottles of sriracha sauce!
Grab the reserved corn cobs and using the back of your knife, the dull side, scrape the corn cobs and let the milky starch run into your saucepan.
Taste for salt. Adjust seasonings.
Partially cover the saucepan with a lid, lower heat to allow the soup base to simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes is up, uncover and remove the shrimp shells from the soup base. Carefully transfer the hot soup base to a blender, I leave the plastic stopper off the top and lightly cover the lid with a clean dish towel.
When you blend the hot liquid, it will expand, loosely covering the hole in the blender lid with the clean tea towel will allow the expanding steam to escape while protecting you from being burned by any splattering liquids. Don’t just hit the blender button with a lid on, you’ll likely end up with an exploding hot mess that has real scalding danger. Safety first!
I blend my soup base for as long I need to get a smooth thickened base that still retains some texture. I don’t want it to be super blended smooth. Return the soup base to your saucepan. Taste and adjust any seasoning as needed. Add the rest of the fresh corn and chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally. I add the last of the thinly sliced green onions, fresh cilantro and the shrimp. It won’t take long for the shrimp to cook, maybe I minute or two tops. Once the shrimp have turned colour, to a pinky orange, its time to bowl up!
If I’m serving up the entire soup in one go, I’ll use all my shrimp at once. If I know some of my soup will be eaten at a later time, I don’t use all my shrimp, since re-heating or over cooking toughens up the shrimp. If I know I’ll be re-heating later, I just bring my soup back to a boil and add the shrimp before I serve. I only add the shrimp at the last second, when the soup is ready to be served. If I end up freezing some of my soup, I freeze it without the shrimp and simply add them at the last stage of re-heating the soup. It’s my favourite way of doing it, but feel free to do what works best for you 🙂
- 4-6 ears fresh corn, you want to get roughly 4 cups of corn
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed, I used roasted garlic
- ½ white onion, finely diced
- 4-5 cups chicken stock, use what you need to get the right consistency for you
- 300g raw zipperback shrimp, 31/40 count, shell on
- 2-4 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- raw sugar
- ponzu sauce
- fresh cilantro for garnishing
- Thaw shrimp, remove shells and reserve.
- Cut corn kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife.
- Heat coconut oil and sesame oil in saucepan over medium heat.
- Add half the spring onions, garlic cloves, white onion, reserved shrimp shells and a generous handful of fresh corn, cook until they begin to caramelize.
- Add half the chicken stock and sriracha sauce. Scrap the corn cobs with the back of your knife allowing the milky starch to run into your pan. Stir. Partially cover, lower heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Remove shrimp shells and puree soup base in a blender. Blend to desired consistency.
- Return soup base to pan, add remaining chicken stock, corn and bring to a boil.
- Add the last of the spring onions.
- Taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed. This is the point where I may add additional items if I think the soup needs a bit of tweaking. I may add a bit of raw sugar or ponzu sauce to balance flavours the way I like. If I have any fresh cilantro on hand I use it at the very end to garnish.
- When the soup is seasoned to your liking, its time to add your raw shrimp. Leave to cook no more than a couple minutes. Once the shrimp is a nice pinky orange colour it's time to serve up your soup!