This chowder takes its cue from New England with its use of potatoes, celery, and onion - but the similarities end there. Flavored with lemongrass, ginger, and fish sauce, this brothy version with coconut milk has an authentically assertive flavor.
1 fresh lemongrass stalk, peeled
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups peeled baking potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
3/4 cup chopped zucchini
2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, drained
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
Cut lemongrass stalk in half crosswise; coarsely crush using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add potato, onion, celery, ginger, and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until celery and onion are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemongrass, sugar, fish sauce, and clam juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until potato is tender.
Stir in zucchini, clams, and chiles. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro; remove from heat. Remove lemongrass; discard.