Thai Style Chicken Soup

No one really needs a recipe to make old-fashioned chicken soup. But I tend to get stuck in a rut, so I browse through recipes looking for ways to put a new spin on the old classic. I’ve tried adding ginger and chiles to give the soup an Asian flavor, but I ran across this recipe that’s halfway between Tom Kha Gai and Campbell’s Chicken & Stars. I loved it for its simplicity, speed, and flavor.

Thai Style Chicken Soup


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, whites and pale-greens thinly sliced, dark greens sliced 1-inch thick
4 garlic cloves
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, shredded
1 jalapeño, with seeds, thinly sliced (or seeded if you prefer less heat)
1 cup quartered stemmed shiitake mushrooms
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon (or more) fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
Kosher salt
2 cups thinly sliced sugar snap peas
1 teaspoon lime zest, divided
Fresh tender herbs (such as cilantro or basil)
Lime wedges (for serving)


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook scallions, garlic, and ginger, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add carrot, jalapeño, and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly.

Add fish sauce to soup and season with salt and more fish sauce, if desired. Shred chicken into large chunks and return to pot along with sugar snap peas. Stir in lime zest. Top with fresh herbs and serve with lime wedges alongside.

I doubled the recipe and used a rotisserie chicken instead of breasts. I also added some vegetables that were wasting away in the crisper.

This recipe was fantastic and I thought I’d blog it before I forgot where I found it. The only real change I made was to not double the (lite) coconut milk. I would also substitute bean sprouts for the sugar snap peas if I made it again, but that’s just my personal preference.

This would also make a good Tom Yum knock-off if you added rice noodles and swapped out the chicken for shrimp.

Thai Style Chicken Soup
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