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.
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Thai Style Coconut Chicken Soup
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or other neutral tasting oil.
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 stalks lemongrass or 4 tsp 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 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp 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 1/2 - 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.