Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 30m
  • Rating ****

8 servings

A signature dish of Thailand, this simple soup also works beautifully with a Western menu. In winter, its herbal flavors of galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime warm the body; in summer, its characteristic lightness makes it pleasingly refreshing.


  • 8 kaffir lime leaves or the zest of 1 regular lime
  • 2 cans (13 1/2 fluid ounces) coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 fresh or 4 dried galangal slices, each about 1 inch in diameter
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths and crushed
  • 4 fresh small green chili peppers, halved
  • 1 tablespoon Thai roasted chili paste (nam prik pao)
  • 1 whole chicken breast, boned, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup drained, canned whole straw mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup drained, canned sliced bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Companion recipe: Chicken Stock


Place 4 of the lime leaves or half of the zest in a large saucepan. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, galangal, lemongrass and chilies. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan. Discard the contents of the sieve.

Bring the strained stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, so that it boils gently. Add the remaining 4 kaffir lime leaves or the remaining half of the zest, roasted chili paste, chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and fish sauce. Boil gently until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice and cilantro leaves. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2049

nutrition information per serving

262 calories; 21g total fat; 22mg cholesterol; 870mg sodium; 9g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 13g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.