Idaho® Potato Island Chowder

Go tropical for your next chowder, and add coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and lime zest to your Idaho® potatoes! Sun glasses and beach towel optional. 


  • 2 13.66-ounce cans lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • zest from 2 limes
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon cube
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced lemongrass
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups peeled and diced Idaho® russet potatoes (3 large Idaho® potatoes)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tins chopped clams with clam juice (there should be a total of ½ cup clam juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt, if needed
  • 6 macadamia nuts, crushed, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley for garnish


  1. Stir together the milks, ginger, garlic, lime zest, and bouillon cube in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. A Le Creuset pot is perfect for this! Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and put a lid on the pot to keep the chowder broth warm.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add the lemongrass, sweet onion, and celery. Sauté the vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the softened lemongrass, onion, and celery, and vigorously whisk it all together to completely coat the vegetables. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, frequently tossing around the skillet, or until it all begins to lightly brown. Add the diced potatoes, and gradually whisk in the vegetable broth, a little at a time.
  4. Stir in the clams and clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the liquid thickens into a sauce-like consistency.
  5. Pour everything into the large pot holding the warm coconut milk broth, add the black pepper, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to meld together the flavors. Correct for salt if needed. (The vegetable bouillon cube typically provides all the salt needed.)
  6. Ladle into chowder bowls. Crush the macadamia nuts using the flat side of a chef’s knife and sprinkle over each bowl along with a pinch of parsley.


Prep Tip: Smash the lemongrass stalk with the flat side of a knife, and thrash it against a work surface to split and open it up before mincing.

Vegetarian Tip: To make this chowder vegetarian, eliminate the clams and clam juice, add an additional ½ cup of vegetable broth, and another russet potato.

Print Recipe

Yield: 6 chowder bowls

Susan Pridmore
Food Blogger
The Wimpy Vegetarian

Share this Recipe