Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe

March 23, 2024
Close up finished spicy thai chicken soup in a bowl with limes on the side.
Finished soup close up in a white bowl.

No need for cold weather.

This is a rare occasion where I am going to toot my own horn. Our new recipe for Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup has made me try to think of other ways to use it. It is THAT tasty. It’s one of the most comforting soups that I have ever made. I imagine if you aren’t feeling well that the spice in here could help any stuffy nose pass. It is perfect simply topped with some green onions or I could even see it being a broth that complements a piece of grilled chicken.

If you do not know already Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines. I even traveled to Denmark to go to a Michelin Star Thai restaurant. The depth of flavor that you can achieve here with so few ingredients is what truly makes this food spectacular. A lot of the ingredients may seem foreign to you (haha, get it?) but I assure you they are easy to find and delicious.

The things that I would not skip in this recipe are the fresh ginger, fresh lime juice, and red peppers. These are my preference, but you can change this to your specific tastes.

Dutch oven on the stove with soup cooking in it.

Do not fear the ingredients!

When people hear the word “fish sauce” they tend to get a little scared so let’s talk about the ingredients here. While I suggest visiting your local Asian market you will likely be able to find these are your favorite grocery stores.

Fish sauce: This is arguably the most important ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking/Thai food, and you can think of it sort of like soy sauce except with a fishy taste. It has a robust smell that you should prepare yourself for but it adds salt and most importantly umami to your dish.

Red Curry Paste: This is also an important ingredient in this soup. You will likely find it in your international aisle at the food store in a small jar. You can substitute green curry paste if you cannot find red but I would suggest trying to find red. Red curry paste is simply cooked down chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, and shrimp paste. It is where the heat in this dish comes from

Better than Boullion: I am not sponsored by them but I love their products. I find it so much more flavorful than chicken broth. Please don’t let that hinder you from making this recipe as boxed chicken broth works just fine. You can choose to use any type of broth that you have on hand, but this recipe will do best with chicken broth or chicken stock.

Close up finished spicy thai chicken soup in a bowl with limes on the side.

Not from the Carton!

Full Fat Coconut Milk: This is not the coconut milk you find in the milk section in a carton. You will find this in your international aisle. It will likely be the Thai Kitchen brand and in a can. There will likely be two options: full-fat coconut milk and lite/ light coconut milk. If you are on a low-calorie diet you can feel free to use the lite version.

Shiitake Mushrooms: These will be easy to find in the produce section of your local Asian grocery store, but most regular grocery stores will also carry them. If you cannot find shitake mushrooms locally you can thinly slice baby bella or white mushrooms! Did you know that Baby Bella Mushrooms are just portabella mushrooms that are picked when they are not fully grown? The more you know!

Close up of finished spicy That soup.

Other items to look for in the Asian market!

There is a plethora of really fun ingredients that you can find in your local Asian market that you can add to this soup to make it sing!

Kaffir Lime leaves: These are exactly as their name says. This is the leaf of the lime tree that grows in Southeast Asia, but it carries the same essence as the lime itself. I love using it as a topping when I cook any food from this region.

Thai Red Chili Peppers: Also known as bird chilis is a wonderful way to add a bit more spice to this dish. They can be VERY spicy so make sure to have a little nibble of your batch to make sure its not too much heat for you. You can add these to the cooking process or use them as a garnish.

Thai Red Curry Paste: This should also be readily available in your local grocery store but you are definitely going to get more options if you head to your local Asian Market. Red curry paste is going to be the spicer of the curry pastes that you buy, but you can only use a little if you are sensitive.

Finished soup close up in a white bowl.

Tools of the trade

Other than normal cooking tools, all you are going to need to make this recipe is a dutch oven or heavy-bottom saucepan. We love our ones from Staub and Le Cruset. Place your dutch oven over medium-high heat on your stovetop.

If you would like to save your leftovers you can use an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Trust me when I say that you are going to want to keep the leftovers because this soup is even better the next day.

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Fished soup in a bowl with whole green onions on the side.

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Author: A Couple Bites
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This spicy Thai coconut chicken soup can be made any time of the year and used in so many different ways!


Units Scale
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 14oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 scallion sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 8oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Set your dutch oven over medium heat on the stove. Add in your butter and allow it time to melt.
  2. While your dutch oven is heating up and your butter is melting salt and pepper your chicken breast on each side.
  3. When your butter is melted add your chicken breast and brown it on each side. This will take about 5 minutes. This does not have to be fully cooked through yet. 
  4. Once browned remove your chicken and set it aside. Add your olive oil to the dutch oven and saute your onions, grated ginger, and garlic until the onions are transparent. 
  5. Once your onions are transparent you are going to add in your chicken broth, fish sauce, red curry paste, lemon zest, scallion, shiitake mushrooms, and coconut milk. 
  6. Allow this to come to a simmer and then add your chicken breast back in. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  7. After 20 minutes remove your chicken breast and shred it with two forks. Once shredded add your chicken breast back to the soup.
  8. Serve this in a bowl topped with scallions, fresh cilantro, chili oil, and a lime wedge. 
  • Prep Time: 10 mintues
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
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We’re Matt and Melissa, and this is our food blog, though it may not be the food blog you are expecting. We are here to take you on a culinary adventure through our kitchen, our passions, our stories, and our liquor cabinet. Residing in Monmouth County, NJ (the best county in NJ) we love to cook and create in our kitchen. But we know we’re not the real experts and the only thing more fun than tasting our own creations are tasting others’. When we’re not cooking for you, we’re around town sampling all that New Jersey’s culinary scene has to offer. Let take A Couple Bites!

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