Thai Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
Flickr CC 2.0
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4

This chicken and rice soup is "comfort in a bowl", and is especially welcoming if you've had a long day or are fighting a cold or flu bug. Homemade chicken soup is easy to make and tastes SO much better than canned - it's also much healthier. This Thai chicken and rice soup is extra healthy and delicious since it includes fresh herbs and spices as well as vegetables. Lime juice and coconut milk give it its very special Thai taste. Use leftover roast chicken (or turkey), or cook the chicken from scratch. Also, a great way to use up leftover rice. ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 6 cups good-tasting chicken stock
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sliced or shredded leftover roast chicken or turkey, OR 1-2 raw chicken breasts or thighs, sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, left whole, OR 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated (or galangal, if available)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms, left whole unless very large (or substitute shiitake or regular button mushrooms)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooked Thai rice (or substitute another type of rice) - if using uncooked, see note below recipe
  • 1/2 cup (canned) mini corn cobs, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup (canned) bamboo shoots
  • 1 to 2 whole red chilies (this will make a mild soup with a hint of spice. If you want your soup spicy, mince the chili)
  • 4 tbsp. fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime (a little less than 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 can coconut milk (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 spring (green) onions, sliced
  • a handful of fresh coriander to serve

How to Make It

  1. Heat the chicken stock plus kaffir lime leaves/lime juice in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until boiling.
  2. Add the cooked or raw chicken/turkey. If using cooked chicken/turkey, add some bones as well (this will make for a richer, healthier soup). If meat is uncooked, boil it in the stock (with lime leaves) for 5 to 6 minutes with the lid on or just slightly askew.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Stir and turn down the heat to medium, gently boiling for 2 to 3 minutes.
  1. Add the rice, breaking up any clumps with your fingers as you do so. Stir well. Tip: if you're planning to eat the soup right away, add up to 1 cup of rice. If you're making the soup ahead of time, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup, as the rice expands the longer it sits. Make Ahead Tip: Make the soup, but leave the rice out until just before serving.
  2. Add the mini corn cobs, bamboo shoots, and chili. Turn down the heat, allowing soup to gently simmer 1 minute. Then add the fish sauce, lime juice, plus coconut milk and sugar, stirring well to incorporate.
  3. Do a taste-test. The saltiness of your soup will depend on how salty your stock was to start with. Add up to 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty, add another squeeze or two of lime juice. For even more spice and flavor, add a teaspoon of Thai chili sauce/paste.
  4. Finally, add the spring onions, allowing them to float around the top of the soup without stirring them in. Portion the soup out into bowls, top with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, and serve immediately.
  • If You Don't Have Pre-Cooked Rice: Start with 1 cup extra stock (so 7 cups instead of 6 in your soup pot). Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup uncooked white rice (brown rice will use up twice the stock and take twice as long to cook). Allow it to gently boil in the stock with the lid on or slightly askew for 15 to 20 minutes, then continue with the recipe as is.
  • A Tip about Leftovers: As mentioned, this soup will thicken with time, so it's best to eat it up in one sitting. However, if you do have leftovers, you may want to add some more chicken stock when you reheat, or (if you have time) a combination of chicken stock, lime juice, fish sauce, and coconut milk. ENJOY!