Thai-style Chicken and Coconut Soup

Mass Appeal

Betty Rosbottom, author of “Soup Nights,” taught us how to make a Thai-style chicken and coconut soup. 


  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • Two 13.5 oz cans whole (not light) coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped lemon grass (see market note)
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into very thin strips, about 3-by-1/2 in
  • 6 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced very thinly through the stems
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, including 2 inches of the green stems
  • 4 oz snow peas, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into 2 to 3 pieces
  • 4 oz fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup julienned fresh basil


1. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the broth, coconut milk, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and place over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a simmer, add the chicken and mushrooms. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season the soup with 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.) 

2. Add the green onions, snow peas, and peas and cook until the vegetables are just tender and bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.

3. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with some fresh basil. 

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