Filed Under: Chicken | Lunch | Main Dish | Soup

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Recipe By Tessa Arias
February 8th, 2012

This soup is awesome!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Complex and flavorful. I was tempted to lick the bowl after practically slurping it all down.
Texture: The broth is smooth thanks to the coconut milk and chunky thanks to the chicken and veggies.
Ease: Very easy and fast. I think prepping the ingredients actually takes longer than cooking the soup (prep the ingredients ahead of time to make this recipe really fast).
Appearance: Unfortunately my picture doesn’t really illustrate just how much chicken and vegetables are floating around in there. They’re there, promise!
Pros: Fresh, fast, tasty.
Cons: Leftovers don’t keep well.
Would I make this again? Yes, next time I might try to add noodles.

On Monday I shared some very exciting news and I’d like to thank everyone who reached out with support and encouragement. You guys are the best! I can’t think of anything more comforting than the words of support from friends and family. Well, maybe soup. Soup is pretty darn comforting. One of my New Year’s blogging resolutions was to cook and post more soup recipes. I like them, you guys like them. It’s a win-win. This soup is awesome! It doesn’t taste exactly like what you get in a Thai restaurant and I can’t attest to its authenticity (Thai cuisine is something I don’t know much about) but I can attest to its deliciousness. You know something is tasty when you want seconds!

The original recipe called for 1 3-inch stalk of lemongrass, something I can never find here. If you have access to it and want to use it, add it in after the garlic and before the chile paste. Discard the lemongrass before serving. Sambal oelek and fish sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. If you’re unsure what to look for, search them in Google images!

How to make
Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
This soup is awesome!


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pot. Add mushrooms, pepper, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chile paste and cook for another minute.
  2. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken to pot and cook 1 minute, or until heated through. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Recipe Notes

From Cooking Light January/February
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Brigitt — February 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I really wanted to try this recipe from the moment I read that issue of cooking light! Glad to hear that it's worth making!

  2. #
    Michelle — February 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Such a simple and delicious soup!

  3. #
    Kaitlin — February 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I made this exact recipe on Monday! Great stuff, but man – that sambal oelek is beastly stuff to cook with. I couldn't stop choking 😛 I'm going to hold my breath next time. Haha.

    Also, I have the same issue with lemongrass… I wish I could have included it, but I don't know where to get it!

  4. #
    Angie — February 9, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Sounds good!

  5. #
    Tracey — February 9, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Oh yum, I love all things with coconut milk! What a great soup.

  6. #
    Margo — February 9, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I absolutely love Thai soups…luckily I know where to get lemon grass! Sooooo excited to try this one!

  7. #
    Mary Alexis — February 18, 2016 at 6:01 am

    What kind of noodles are best for this recipe?

  8. #
    bob — October 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Crunchy chow mein noodles work well. Put them in the soup at time of serving. Also, if you find you need more heat, I made this soup with 2 Reaper Peppers. It turned out really nice. Keep extra coconut cream on hand to add to your soup. It gives it a nice coconut flavor boost.

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