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Smoked coconut, oyster and bacon chowder


Smoked coconut, oyster and bacon chowder. Photo: Colleen Thompson

Recipe courtesy of DEon Oyster Company Ltd.


  • 5 slices bacon, cooked until crispy, then chopped small

  • 1-2 filets fresh haddock, depending on size

  • 12 oysters, shucked, brine saved

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 leeks (white parts only), finely chopped

  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 2 tsp cracked pepper

  • Pinch of cayenne

  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 4 cans coconut milk

  • 1-2 drops liquid smoke

  • Chopped fresh parsley or basil chiffonade for garnish


1. Put the fish in a deep frying pan with the bay leaf and 2 cups of boiling water. Cover and simmer for two minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to stand, covered, for a further five minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, then flake the fish.

2. Cook bacon on medium heat in a deep saucepan until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and discard most of the bacon fat, while keeping about 2 tbsp in your pan.

3. Turn your pan to med-high heat. Add 2 tbsp butter, onions, leeks and celery, cook until softened/slightly browned (about five minutes). 

4. Add garlic, potatoes, thyme, cracked pepper, salt, pinch of cayenne and bay leaf. Cook for 30 seconds, until garlic and herbs smell fragrant. 

5. Add white wine while scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (this is where all the flavour is), then immediately add reserved oyster brine and cooking liquid. Let these liquids reduce slightly (approximately five minutes).

6. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes (covered) until the vegetables have softened and potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.

7. Pour half the soup into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Return soup to the pan and add liquid smoke.

Chef tip

If the chowder is too thick for your liking, add a can of evaporated milk for extra richness (assuming you’re making this recipe for the dairy tolerant). 

8. Add shucked oysters. Simmer for five to eight minutes until edges of oysters curl a bit. Taste and season if needed. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and/or basil to serve.

East Coast Living