This Thai noodle soup recipe includes the best flavors one can find in a Thai staple.
The meat and vegetables aren’t just tender, they’re loaded with the aromas and flavors of the broth, which we make from staple Thai ingredients: lemongrass, galangal, and ginger, just to name a few. The broth is enriched with coconut milk and perfectly seasoned so that no flavor outshines one another creating an addictive broth to sip to the last drop.
However, there’s something that makes this dish quite different from the usual version that you’re likely to encounter.
What Makes Our Thai Noodle Soup Different
Unlike how Thai dishes are typically seasoned, ours uses a moderate amount of salt and fish sauce to keep the sodium content at a moderate level (below 600 mg per serving).
Some would argue that this change makes the dish less tasty, but we think it’s best to salt the broth just lightly so that the entire flavor complexion is fully appreciated from the first to the last spoonful.
Ingredients for Our Thai Noodle Soup Recipe
Chicken: boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts also work pretty well, but they’re just not as tender and juicy as the thighs.
Vegetables: carrots and onions. We keep our recipe simple, but if you want the full experience, add some crisp, fresh mung bean sprouts to the serving bowl.
Aromatics: garlic, shallot, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, all finely chopped or processed. Dried aromatics include curry powder, curry paste, and cumin, not typically called for but we find they amplify the curry flavor.
Seasonings: brown sugar, fish sauce, salt, pepper, lime juice, and jalapeños. Don’t skip either the fish sauce or salt — one is for savoriness and the other is for saltiness.
Herbs: basil and cilantro. These should be served in abundance.
Broth: chicken or vegetable broth.
Coconut cream: the dish’s must-have, not substitutable with regular cream.
Rice noodles: if you use the fresh variety, cover the noodles with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying. If you use dried, cook them using the package’s instructions, drain, and keep them as you would the fresh noodles.
Detailed prepping and cooking instructions are listed in our ‘Thai noodle soup recipe’ card at the bottom.
Storing and Reheating
Keep the noodles in an air-tight container and refrigerate them for up to 4 days. We don’t recommend freezing, as it strips away the noodles’ chewy, bouncy nature.
Keep the fresh herbs similarly.
Keep the soup either in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use air-tight containers or sealable bags, depending on your preference.
To reheat, simmer the soup in a pot over medium heat until bubbling. Place the cold noodles into a bowl, and ladle the soup over. The noodles needn’t be reheated.
18 oz skinless boneless chicken thighs (cut into 3” chunks)
12 oz carrots (rolling cut)
2 oz onion (chopped)
1 tbsp garlic (finely chopped)
1 tbsp shallots (finely chopped)
1 tbsp lemongrass (finely chopped)
1 tsp ginger (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp galangal (finely chopped)
1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
2 tbsp Thai basil (thinly sliced)
14 oz cooked rice noodles (from about 12 oz dry)
0.5 oz red jalapeño (thinly sliced)
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp cumin powder
3 cup unsalted chicken broth
Cut 18 oz chicken into 3” chunks.
Roll-cut the carrots: Roll and cut the carrot: start from the bottom of a peeled carrot: make a diagonal cut through the end to have a 1/2" piece. Turn the carrot so the flat side faces up, and make the same cut to have a piece similar in size to the previous one. Keep rolling and cutting until you end up with even chunks. Measure out 12 oz.
Chop 2 oz onion.
Mince 1 tbsp garlic.
Mince 1 tbsp shallot.
Mince 1 tbsp lemongrass.
Mince 1 tsp ginger.
Chop 1/4 tsp galangal.
Chop 1/4 cup cilantro.
Thinly slice 2 tbsp Thai basil
Cook the rice noodles: boil about 12 oz dry rice noodles for about 5 minutes (depending on the package instructions). Drain, rinse, let cool, and measure out 14 oz.
Thinly slice 0.5 oz red jalapeños.
Stir-fry the aromatics: Heat 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick pot over medium heat for 1 minute. Sauté 1 tbsp garlic, 1 tbsp shallot, 1 tbsp lemongrass, and 1 tsp ginger for 2 minutes.
Add onion and carrots: 2 oz onion and 12 oz carrots. Stir to cook for 2 minutes.
Add chicken and seasonings (except fish sauce and coconut milk): Add 18 oz chicken thighs along with 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp red curry paste, and 1/4 tsp cumin powder. Mix and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
Add chicken broth and simmer: Pour in 3 cups chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Shred the chicken: Take the chicken out and shred into strips. We don't cut them into strips at first because they're juicier this way.
Stir in coconut milk and fish sauce: Add the chicken back to the pot along with 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 tsp fish sauce. Stir and turn off the heat.
Garnish and serve: Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced Thai basil. Divide 14 oz cooked rice noodles among 4 serving bowls, and ladle the soup on top.
How to Make Thai Noodle Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 459Calories from Fat 186
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Vitamin A 14378IU
Vitamin C 13mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
Flavorful and easy to make, perfect for a chilly day.