Cold Spicy Cucumber Soup with Poached Shrimp

This Cold Spicy Cucumber Soup with Poached Shrimp with big poached shrimp has enough heat from the chilies to be a perfect warm weather treat.

Cold Spicy Cucumber Soup with Poached Shrimp 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Jean-Georges Vongrichten & Mark BittmanPublished


  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 carrot peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 slice stalk celery roughly chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 20 jumbo shrimp unpeeled
  • 5 seedles cucumbers
  • 2 green Thai bird chilis seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoon asian fish sauce
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed limejuice
  • 2 tablespoon mint leaves thinly sliced or minced


Mix salt, carrots, celery, white wine, bay leaves, and peppercorns in 1 quart of water in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

Add the shrimp in their shells then let the water come to a boil. Cook for 60 seconds, stirring once or twice. Remove the shrimp immediately and lay out in a single layer to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, about 1 hour. Peel shrimp just before serving.

Make the soup: Wash the cucumbers, but do not peel them. Cut off a 6‑inch piece from the center of one cucumber. Cut this piece into tiny 1/8‑inch dice; set aside. Cut the rest of the cucumber into ½‑inch chunks. Place the ½‑inch chunks into a food processor along with ½ ‑cup water, pulse a few times to grate, then run the machine until the cucumber is completely smooth and nearly liquified.

Line a large, fine meshed strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set the lined strainer over a large bowl. Add the cucumber puree, letting the liquid fall into the bowl. then using the back of a wooden spoon press the remaining pulp to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Discard the pulp.

Add the minced green Thai bird chilis, Asian fish sauce and limejuice. Chill well. (You can make in advance to this point and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

Taste the soup, adjust seasoning if necessary with a bit more fish sauce or lime juice to taste. Avoid salt.

Ladle the cold soup into shallow bowls and serve, garnished with reserved diced cucumber, peeled poached shrimp and mint.