Recipe for Life: Coconut Mushroom Soup

Recipe for Life

Burmese cuisine, influenced by the cultures of Myanmar’s diverse ethnic minorities, is growing in popularity outside of Southeast Asia.

In fact, it is one of the hottest food trends in Washington, D.C. right now. And we think you’ll understand why once you’ve tasted chef JoJo’s delicious coconut mushroom soup.

Soup Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) blend of fresh onions, garlic and ginger
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) roasted garlic powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fish sauce
  • 3 cups (450 g) chopped button mushrooms
  • 2 cups (475 mL) red lentil soup, blended
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) JoJo’s curry paste blend (red chilies, oil, tomato paste, Indian spices)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (240 mL) water
  • 1 lb (450 g) egg noodles


  • ½ of a red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced at an angle
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • hot chili oil (optional)

Crunchy Toppings:

Crunchy rice noodles, fried shallots and garlic or fried onions


To make the lentil soup in advance: Roast 1 lb (450 g) of red lentils and cook in a pot or rice cooker with 2 quarts (2 L) of water, ½ tsp (2.5 mL) of garlic powder and 1 tsp (5 mL) of salt. Remove from rice cooker and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook noodles for 3 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water, drain and toss in 1 tbsp (15 mL) of sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Cut the hard-boiled eggs and set aside. Prep all of the remaining garnishes and keep covered until the soup is ready to serve.

Crunchy toppings can be purchased ready-made (any fried onions or fried noodles). I prefer to fry my own rice noodles and sprinkle them with some turmeric and salt as soon as they are removed from the frying pan.

To Make the Soup:

Place wok over high heat. Add oil to heat and then add the onion, garlic, ginger mixture and stir until translucent. Right before the mixture starts to turn darker, add turmeric, paprika and chopped mushrooms to wok.

Add curry mixture and stir-fry until the mushrooms are completely coated and change color.

Lower the heat to medium, add blended lentil soup and stir well. When the oil rises to the top, which will take about 10 minutes, turn the heat to low and add water, coconut milk, fish sauce and salt.

To Serve:

Divide noodles into individual serving bowls. Ladle a generous portion of soup over the noodles. Top with two slices of boiled egg and 1 tsp (5 mL) of each of the other garnishes. Squeeze a slice of lime over the soup and add the crunchy toppings and hot chili oil (if desired) before serving.

Serves 4 – 6.