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Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

by . Featured in KITCHEN, and Nigella Quick Collection
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Introduction

Even if you don't have much chicken left over, you should still make this. A few shreds will be plenty. (And this recipe is worth bearing in mind even when your starting point is not leftover chicken: if you were to bung in some frozen prawns at the end, making sure you cook them through, this would make for a fabulous storecupboard supper.) This is a very laissez-faire recipe all round, actually: when I cooked it for the photo shoot I forgot to put the vegetables in and it was still heavenly. I did try to make up for my absent-mindedness by giving the tender-shoot stirfry a beauty-shot of its own, so you can see the mixture of pak choi, bok choi, spindly asparagus, Chinese kale, peanut shoots and Chinese chives. But I happily use some leafy greens and a julienned or sliced spring onion along with a handful of beansprouts instead. Similarly, if you can't get the ravishing cellophane packages of almost equally cellophane vermicelli, don't be put off making this; udon, soba, rice noodles, spaghetti or linguine could be substituted.

Even if you don't have much chicken left over, you should still make this. A few shreds will be plenty. (And this recipe is worth bearing in mind even when your starting point is not leftover chicken: if you were to bung in some frozen prawns at the end, making sure you cook them through, this would make for a fabulous storecupboard supper.) This is a very laissez-faire recipe all round, actually: when I cooked it for the photo shoot I forgot to put the vegetables in and it was still heavenly. I did try to make up for my absent-mindedness by giving the tender-shoot stirfry a beauty-shot of its own, so you can see the mixture of pak choi, bok choi, spindly asparagus, Chinese kale, peanut shoots and Chinese chives. But I happily use some leafy greens and a julienned or sliced spring onion along with a handful of beansprouts instead. Similarly, if you can't get the ravishing cellophane packages of almost equally cellophane vermicelli, don't be put off making this; udon, soba, rice noodles, spaghetti or linguine could be substituted.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 2-3 as main, 4-6 as starter

Metric Cups
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 150 grams thin rice noodles (or mung bean thread vermicelli)
  • 200 millilitres coconut milk
  • 3½ centimetres piece of fresh root ginger (peeled and sliced thinly then cut into skinny strips)
  • 2 tablespoons thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 fresh red chilli (deseeded and cut into strips)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 150 grams cooked shredded chicken
  • 250 grams stir fry vegetables (or tender shoot stir fry)
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (to serve)
  • 1 litre chicken broth
  • 6 ounces thin rice noodles (or mung bean thread vermicelli)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1½ inches piece of fresh gingerroot (peeled and sliced thinly then cut into skinny strips)
  • 2 tablespoons thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 fresh red chile (deseeded and cut into strips)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 8 ounces stir fry vegetables (or tender shoot stir fry)
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (to serve)

Method

  1. Put the chicken stock in a good-sized pan to heat up.
  2. Put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over or cook as instructed on the packet.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegetables, to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. When the chicken is piping hot, add the vegetables and when they are tender – a minute or two should be plenty if you’re using the tender shoots – add the drained noodles. Or simply divide the noodles between bowls and pour the soup over them.
  5. Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander.
  1. Put the chicken broth in a good-sized pan to heat up.
  2. Put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over or cook as instructed on the packet.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegetables, to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. When the chicken is piping hot, add the vegetables and when they are tender – a minute or two should be plenty if you’re using the tender shoots – add the drained noodles. Or simply divide the noodles between bowls and pour the soup over them.
  5. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

Tell us what you think

What 9 Others have said

  • Pretty good. On par with Jamie Olivers 15min Laksa.

    Posted by ciaranic on 30th April 2013
  • Made a chicken stock out of leftover bones with a load of Thai ingredients to replace the standard stock veg (lemongrass, chillies, bok choi, etc) and then made this recipe. Absolutely fantastic!

    Posted by Blackers on 30th July 2014
  • This is my go to comfort soup. Everytime I cook it I feel that I am at bliss. My absolute favourite!

    Posted by georgiaoh on 9th April 2014
  • This is delicious and easy. I used double the turmeric for health reasons and it's so good. Even better a couple of days later.

    Posted by Litdog on 9th October 2013
  • I was feeiling a bit rough around the edges today. I had some home made stock in the freezer and some chicken, so I made this. It is laksa - like, but so much "cleaner" and "lighter". It is also utterly, utterly soothing and just what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Nigella :)

    Posted by craig74 on 17th June 2013
  • Have made this and love it - fabulous recipe, thank you! I add about half a teaspoon of turmeric and the same of fish sauce to the 'noodle water' as well to flavour them, it works beautifully and deepens the flavour of the finished dish.

    Posted by thingyjiggle on 19th January 2013
  • mmmm...delicious....

    Posted by me heart on 4th November 2012
  • Prepared this supper last night. Couldn't find readymade chicken stock, so prepared chicken stock from scratch. Nevertheless, it was delicious and fairly easy to make.

    Posted by ananya_choudhury on 7th January 2012
  • Made this for supper last night. Absolutely delicious!

    Posted by eleanormcmahon on 7th October 2011
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