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Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

We've deviated slightly from the classic version of a popular Thai soup by adding rice to make it more substantial. Serve it with lime wedges; a squirt at the table does wonders.

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 2 1/2-by-1/4-inch strips

  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 quart plus 3/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, peeled, smashed, and cut into 2-inch pieces, or three 3-inch-by-1/4-inch strips lemon zest

  • 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into thirds

  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice

  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (15-ounce can)

  • 2 fresh red chiles or jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, cut crosswise into thin slices

  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. In a medium glass dish or stainless-steel pan, combine the chicken strips with the fish sauce and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the broth, lemongrass, and ginger to a simmer. Add the rice; simmer until the rice is almost done, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the chicken and marinade and cook until the chicken is just done, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chiles and cilantro.


Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.

Suggested Pairing

Semidry German Riesling proves its food-friendliness by complementing this complex soup.

Photo © Rick Poon

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