I stole this recipe from a Colonial Williamsburg cookbook and then tweaked it six ways from Sunday to make it my own and let me tell you…
This is some darn good chowder.
It’s got a nice, thick, creamy broth and tons of goodies mixed in with the shrimp.
In fact, all the other ingredients play so nicely together, you could probably leave the shrimp out and still have an amazing dish. (But, like, why would you want to?)
How to make it
You can make this two ways: with the rice in the soup, or cook the rice separately and add a small serving to your bowl as you dish up the chowder.
My recipe adds the rice directly into the same pot simply for convenience sake.
(If you would rather serve the rice separately, then you need to adjust the water from 5 1/2 cups down to 4 cups, and use the other 1 1/2 cup to actually cook the rice; otherwise, you’ll have way too much water in your soup.)
There are two parts of this recipe that are a little tricky, namely, making the roux and knowing how long to cook the shrimp.
(But between those two, it’s more important that you not overcook the shrimp! Doing so will make it tough and rubbery.)
First, cook the onion and celery in butter for about 3-5 minutes, then add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the flour and stir well to get the vegetables evenly coated. Cook about 2 minutes then slowly start adding water, a few tablespoons at a time.
Stir constantly to create thick, pastelike substance, then slowly stir in the rest of the water.
Next, add the rice, oyster sauce, and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. This will cook the rice and let the soup thicken up into a nice, creamy chowder.
Add the potatoes and the heavy cream and return the pot to a simmer.
If you’re using raw shrimp, let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and the raisins and cook until the shrimp start to curl and turn opaque (no more than 5 minutes or the shrimp will overcook and be tough and rubbery).
If you’re using fully cooked shrimp, simmer for 10 minutes, then add the shrimp just for a minute to let it heat up, then remove the pot from the stove to prevent overcooking the shrimp.
Stir in the parsley flakes, and serve immediately.
Why I like this recipe
The original recipe I started with for curry shrimp was not a chowder – and I love me some good chowder.
It also didn’t have quite as many ingredients as this does, especially vegetables.
In my opinion, this recipe takes what might have otherwise been a side dish or appetizer, and turns it into the main event.
Served with some day old crusty bread, this chowder makes me wish I’d started cooking decades ago… because let me tell you if you have not tried this dish you are missing out!
But don’t take my word for it.
Try it tonight, and then come back tomorrow and let me know how you like it.
Creamy Dreamy Curry Shrimp Chowder
- 4-quart pot
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- 1 cup jasmine rice uncooked
- 8 oz medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 white onion thinly sliced
- 1 yukon gold potato cubed
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 5 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp parsley flakes or fresh parsley if you prefer
- Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder and cook 1 minute, stir in the flour and cook 2 more minutes.
- Slowly add water, a few tablespoons at a time, while stirring continually to form a roux. (Stir in a total of about 1 cup water until the water and flour have formed a thick paste-like substance.)
- Add remaining water, rice, oyster sauce, and salt and pepper; increase heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring often.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and heavy cream. Bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes if using raw shrimp; 10 minutes if the shrimp is already fully cooked.
- Add the raisins and shrimp. If using raw shrimp, cook until the shrimp start to curl and turn opaque (no more than 5 minutes or the shrimp will overcook!)
- If using cooked shrimp, drop the shrimp in and then remove the pot from heat. The shrimp won't absorb much flavor this way, but they also won't overcook.
- Stir in the parsley just before serving.