Super simple, super easy! This Thai Style Coconut Chicken Soup is rich and creamy but also somehow light and refreshing! It's soon to become one of your favourites!
I say "Thai Style" because it's not authentic. It's my own twist on a Thai classic soup. The main missing ingredient is galangal. I used to live in a big, multicultural city where any and every ingredient was available at my fingertips. Last year I moved to a small town where some things are impossible to find so I'm forced to find alternative ways to make some of my favourite international dishes.
Another tweak is the removal of the aromatics. In Thailand big chunks of inedible ingredients are left in the bowl for you to avoid. I've "Westernized" this by infusing the chicken stock first and then straining it. Making every spoonful entirely edible. It's just a little easier to eat.
This recipe calls for Enoki mushrooms which are thin and stringy. They are great in soup as they act sort of like a noodle without the noodle! They come in a clump and need about 2 inches of the stems trimmed off before separating them.
If you don't like Enoki mushrooms or can't find them, you can use any kind of mushrooms you like. Even canned straw mushrooms would work perfectly here.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Kaffir limes are native to Southeast Asia and are used extensively in that part of the world, especially Thailand. They have a very distinct flavour unlike any other citrus fruit. It is what makes many Thai dishes so uniquely flavoured. If you don't have access to an Asian supermarket or specialty store you can order Dried Kaffir Lime Leaves. You can also substitute the lime leaves with grated, regular lime, zest. The flavour won't be the same but the dish will still be delicious! I do recommend picking up some of the leaves if you like cooking Thai food. They are a game changer! Buy a large bag of fresh leaves and store them in the freezer.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Other recipes you might like
- THAI MEATBALLS IN RED CURRY PEANUT SAUCE
- EASY SHRIMP STIR FRY WITH PAD THAI SAUCE
- THAI STYLE SLAW WITH PEANUT DRESSING
Thai Style Coconut Chicken Soup
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other neutral tasting oil.
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 stalks lemongrass or 4 teaspoon lemongrass paste
- 3 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
- 15 Kafir lime leaves, torn in half, or zest of 2 fresh limes
- 4 Thai red chilis, thinly sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 x 400 ml/14 oz cans coconut milk, full fat
- 4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, thinly sliced
- 2 cups Enoki mushrooms, stems trimmed and separated (or any mushrooms of your choice)
- 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- Red pepper, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- Red onion, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- Fresh lime wedges
- Cut the dry, woody tops from the lemongrass stalks. Smash the remaining "fleshy" part with the back of your knife to break it apart slightly. Cut into ½ - 1 inch pieces.
- In a large pot bring chicken stock, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves (or lime zest), and Thai red chilis to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes to infuse the stock.
- Strain stock and set aside. Discard aromatics.
- Heat oil in the same pot over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften.
- Add strained stock to onions. Stir in coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, green peas, fish sauce and brown sugar.
- Cover and continue simmering for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh lime juice and cilantro.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with thinly sliced red onion, red pepper and extra lime juice.
Hi Andrea, I’m embarking on a Thai coconut chicken soup adventure. I’ve never used the lime leaves before. I found a jar of dried kaffir lime leaves in the grocery store. Can I use them, and if so, same quantity as fresh or?
I haven't tested with dried leaves but I would start with the same amount. You can always add some lime zest or extra juice if you want to bump up the lime flavour some more. Hope you enjoy it!
Sue Dolan says
You’re right Andrea…a more subtle lime flavour with the dried leaves. That’s ok - whacked in juice of 2 limes and some zest and was happy lol.
Question tho: my broth went a little funky, as if the coconut milk separated? I followed directions but tossed in ingredients in step 5 in a slightly different order than what you have. All else was exactly as directed. Milk was not expired. Weird…
It tastes fab but looks a tad 😵💫 😵💫😵💫
Can send you a pic if you tell me how to attach it here 🙂
It could be a couple of things. Make sure you are using full fat coconut milk. Sometimes boiling the coconut milk too hard can cause separating. Especially after lime juice is added. This will often depend on the type of coconut milk used. Some have emulsifiers added which help prevent separation. To fix it you can mix about 1 tbsp cornstarch with a bit of water to dissolve then stir it into the soup. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 mins. That should fix it. Hope that helps!
Helene P. says
I just made this soup this morning and it’s absolutely delish!! On a very cold day like today, it was a nice light and warm hug for my body and soul!! I see myself making this recipe weekly!!
Fantastic recipe but I’m unsure as to where the fish sauce and brown sugar get added?
They get added in in step 5. Hope
I made this for dinner a couple of nights a go. Wow, what a delicious broth! I went to three stores on the hunt for the enoki mushrooms. The first store had them but every package was encased with mold, the other two stores didn’t have them so I substituted oyster mushrooms and bean sprouts. I’ll be making this regularly now!
Virginia Nebel says
Love this recipe Andrea! One batch for us makes several meals! thank you! We love it the next day by adding in shrimp!
Made it today for a second time and really love it. I put less chicken (was leftovers, but smoked so nice flavour) and will have it for lunches for next few days.
Love all your recipes! Need to try the pad Thai shrimp next!
Oh smoked chicken would be fabulous! Happy you are enjoying the recipes Meredith!
Andrea- what’s a good substitute fir the Thai red chili peppers? Can’t find them fresh or dried. Only green.
You can use the green ones just use less of them...unless you like it really spicy. The green ones are just hotter but both work! 😊
Loved it! Made it using rotisserie chicken. The enoki mushrooms were great.
Aren't they wonderful?! Like little noodles, and so easy with the rotisserie chicken!