Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe
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This Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe is one of our favorites, and it’s quick and easy enough to make any night of the week. Ginger, lemongrass, coconut milk, and a bit of pepper mingled together are some of the ingredients you’ll need to create this flavorful Thai-inspired Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe.
There’s a local fantastic sushi /hibachi/Thai restaurant that we enjoy from time to time. It’s a great little spot for lunch or dinner. Often we order a bowl of coconut soup with shrimp, which reminds me of my version of Coconut Chicken Soup (sometimes known as Tom Kha Gai). I really like making soups and chilis any time of the year, and this one is a real winner.
Coconut Chicken Soup is a flavorful soup made with a chicken stock and coconut milk base, along with ginger, lemongrass, a bit of pepper, sometimes mushrooms, and a smidgen of fish sauce. Just a smidgen. It’s what makes the flavors pop. Really. It’s the umami thing going on. Don’t skip the fish sauce. Don’t diss the fish sauce.
If you’re in a hurry, this easy Coconut Chicken Soup can be cooked in about 30 minutes or let it linger on low. Soups like to linger. Lingering is a good thing.
A few more Coconut Chicken Soup recipe notes:
- Fresh ginger is readily available in most grocery stores and relatively inexpensive too. You will find that fresh ginger is very different from the dried ground version, but if fresh is not an option, substitute 2 teaspoons of dried ginger and adjust to taste before serving. If using fresh ginger, and Asian Spider will work wonders to retrieve it.
- On the other hand, Fresh lemongrass, can sometimes be hard to find. You can grow your own, hunt it down locally or online, or use a dried version for this recipe. I keep dried lemongrass on hand for this soup as well as for hot tea. It’s lovely. Fresh is best, but dried will do just fine.
- Again, this recipe calls for fish sauce. Yes, it’s strong, but no one will ever know it’s in there unless you tell them. It really adds to the fullness of flavor. Remember to refrigerate after opening, and you’ll be prepared for your next batch of coconut milk soup.
- Canned coconut milk is used for this recipe, NOT refrigerated coconut milk in a carton.
What is the difference between coconut milk in a can and a carton?
First of all, as mentioned before, for this soup recipe canned coconut milk is used. But what is the difference between coconut milk in a can versus a carton? The main difference is the coconut milk you find refrigerated in a carton has been very diluted with water and many other ingredients. Coconut milk in a carton is usually used as a beverage or adding to beverages. Many times it has a bunch of icky additional ingredients. Be mindful when shopping for coconut milk in a carton. On the other hand, canned coconut milk is concentrated coconut milk usually with the addition of a bit of water plus guar gum. Canned coconut is thicker and has more coconut flavor since it has not been so diluted. For that reason I prefer to use canned coconut in most recipes. One concern with canned coconut is to watch out for cans that use BPA. When possible look for canned coconut milk brands that do not use BPA.
More delicious soup recipes you will enjoy:
- White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup
- Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
- Chicken Detox Soup Recipe from A Spicy Perspective
Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced*
- 1 tablespoon dried lemongrass
- 8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound rotisserie/roasted chicken, shredded
- 1 3/4 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk (about 1 13.5-ounce can)
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce**
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and lemon grass, stir to toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, lime juice and pepper flakes; bring to a simmer and simmer for 8-10 minutes. If large pieces of ginger are going to bother you, hunt them down and remove (an Asian spider will help do the job, of course a slotted spoon works too).
- Add chicken and simmer for about 4-5 minutes.
- Whisk in coconut milk, fish sauce, and cilantro; lower heat and allow to mingle for about 10 minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish as desired with chili oil, cilantro leaves and/or lime wedges.
*Fresh ginger is relatively inexpensive and so very different from dried, but if fresh is not an option, substitute 2 teaspoons of dried ginger, then adjust to taste before serving.
**This recipe calls for very little fish sauce. Yes, it’s strong but no one will ever know it’s in there unless you tell them. It really adds to the fullness of flavor. Remember to refrigerate after opening and you’ll be prepared for your next batch of coconut milk soup. OR soy sauce may be substituted.