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Thai noodle soup recipe

Thai noodle soup recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken soup
  • Chicken noodle soup

I made this delicious noodle soup at home with chicken after tasting something similar at a Thai restaurant. I think it's pretty authentic. Hope you enjoy it!

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 45g minced fresh ginger, divided
  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
  • 680g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 25g fresh coriander, bundled
  • 2 (400ml) tins coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 500g fine egg noodles
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced or grated
  • 180g chopped tomatoes
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • freshly chopped coriander, or to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Mince the lower 2/3 of lemongrass stalk. Bruise the remaining upper portion of lemongrass stalk by hitting it with the back of a knife.
  2. Pour chicken stock into a large pot; add minced lemongrass, bruised lemongrass stalk, 1/2 the ginger, lime leaves, garlic and chilli sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer. Add chicken to simmering stock; cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove lemongrass stalk and lime leaves using a slotted spoon; discard.
  3. Place coriander bundle in the stock and simmer for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, remaining ginger, brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Remove coriander bundle using a slotted spoon; discard. Continue to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add noodles and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Drain and portion noodles into serving bowls.
  5. Mix carrots, tomatoes and spring onions into stock. Ladle stock over noodles; garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(9)

Reviews in English (7)


Didn't have lime leaves and did use tomatoes & less fresh ginger (personal taste). Added some baby bok choy and used ramen from my chineese grocery store. Loved the Cook's Footnotes. Awesome.-18 Jun 2015

by mt

LOVED IT! I use to frequent a restaurant and would order this.. I've ben craving it for 15 years, and always wanted to make it myself. and then I found this recipe!! I changed it a tad, as I hate cilantro, and had a whole chicken to use.. came out just better than I remembered, and was even better the second day! Thank you.. the footnotes were great. I used more lime juice, and siracha as I like it tangy and spicy..cant wait to make it again! Thank you!!!!-18 Nov 2018

by margy

This is delicious. I made this for my fussy family and my husband loves a rich depth to a soup or sauce. I made this and exchanging the lime leaves for zest, and no chicken. I was looking for a flavorful broth and it delivered.-06 May 2018

Thai Boat Noodle Soup Recipe (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ)

“Guay Tiew” (or Kuai Tiao) is Thai for “noodles” and noodles there are a’ plenty in Thailand. “Ruea” means boat which is where it was traditionally made and served. On my first trek over to Bangkok, I instantly fell in love with Thai boat noodles. It simply brought my body back into something life-like after either a hard day’s night, a long plane flight or simply just feeling like an ex-pat. The deep dark beef stock, blood, carbs, herbs, all the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in between are perfect for my palate.

One of my all-time favorite Thai boat noodle places was right down the street from where I used to live in Bangkok on Soi 31 called “Noodern”. I hope it’s still there with that incredibly satisfying “Guay Tiew”.

Now given, during my stint in Thailand I sampled a myriad of noodles. I went to most of the islands, Samuthprakarn, Chiang Mai, Damnoen Saduak Market, down the coast on both sides, and all over the City of Smiles. I picked my place purely on taste and not proximity. Noodern was just consistently delicious and since it was four blocks away that made it a winner. They had a broth that was dark, rich, and bursting with flavors. They also used to make their own Chicharrón which was a nice touch.

This boat noodle recipe is modeled after them and now every time I make this recipe it is somewhat of a ritual for me. Not only in the preparation but the cooking and even how I plate it. It takes me to a very comfortable place and one I am willing to share with you.

Making the Boat Noodle Beef Stock

Homemade stock can be both delicious and quite medicinal (great article here). Between all the aromatics and the bones, these soups, broths, stocks have a ton of important minerals and building blocks for a healthy diet. My approach to beef stock is using large femurs cut in thirds.

Heads Up: Please make sure you have made the beef stock way ahead of time. I make massive batches in the slow cooker and flash freeze liters of it. Follow my beef bone stock guide here. There are no secrets. It’s all about process and time.

Thai Boat Noodle Soup Base

Start your slow cooker. Turn it on high. I don’t want a pressure cooker for this. I want a slow-rolling mix of ingredients constantly churning and giving the broth everything it has, everything it could be.

Culinary notes: Galangal has this great piney taste that is just amazing. Please don’t substitute that. Ginger simply does not have the same taste. The molasses adds a nice burnt sugar cane taste which is super popular in Thailand.

You can essentially throw everything except for the beef blood in the slow cooker on high with the beef stock. Come back in 2 hours, pour it through a fine sieve and then put the broth/stock back into the crockpot and put it on low. Your base/soup is done. Taste it. It should not be too salty at this point but should already echo some amazing flavors.

At this stage, you need to add in the beef tendon if you have it. It will take many hours to render this down to something palatable but totally worth it. Put the timer on for three hours. Come back and check on it. It should be firm, chewy, jelly-like. You are almost done.

Toss in some super thin slices of beefsteak (12 slices) lightly brushed with fish sauce and garlic powder. I buy this type of beef at the Asian mart since they slice this ultra-thin for dishes like Shabu Shabu, Korean BBQ, and Chinese Hot Pot. It only takes about 1 minute for the beef to cook.

You should have already prepped all your garnishes and condiments below. Go ahead and drop some rice noodles in boiling water for about thirty seconds. They should be firm and chewy and will cook the rest of the way in the steaming bowl of broth.

Plating Your Boat Noodle Soup

It’s just not a proper boat noodle without the beef balls, super-thin sliced beef, and veggies. I always add Chinese celery to mine as it’s simply the perfect, refreshing, slightly bitter accompaniment to the beef.

  • Super thinly sliced sheets of raw beef round seasoned with a little garlic powder, black pepper and fish sauce
  • beef balls (optional)
  • beef blood (a must!)
  • Chinese celery
  • Soy bean sprouts
  • Scallions
  • Coriander leaves
  • Asian basil (purple stems)
  • Fried garlic and shallots in oil
  • Chicharon (optional)

I add the beef blood to the simmering broth when I am about a minute away from plating.

The chicharron adds a neat bit of crunch and finishes off a brilliant dish. We have an amazingly rich, healthy soup bursting with flavors but we also have that crunchy, chewy, smooth, umami experience that makes boat noodle soup one of the best dishes in Thailand.

Thai Noodle Soup Ingredients

Alright, before we get to the recipe, let’s talk ingredients. To make the best homemade Thai Noodle Soup, you will need:

  • Coconut oil: I always use unrefined, virgin, and organic coconut oil.
  • Garlic and ginger: These two ingredients are imperative in Asian cooking. Always use freshly grated/minced garlic and ginger for the best flavor.
  • Red curry paste: This is used to add heat and complex curry flavor to the soup in one step. Different brands of curry paste can vary significantly in terms of spiciness and flavor. See below for my top choices.
  • Vegetable stock: This will serve as the base for the soup broth. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, chicken broth can be used instead.
  • Coconut milk: This is added to tone down the heat from the curry paste. It also makes the broth nice and creamy. I typically use full-fat coconut milk, but you’re welcome to use low-fat if you prefer.
  • Noodles: I use thin rice noodles when making this soup recipe. I love them because they only take a few minutes to cook and are naturally gluten-free.
  • Lime juice: A good squeeze of citrus balances and brightens all the flavors in the soup. Make sure you always add lime at the very end of cooking, so that you don’t kill the flavor.

Plus, of course, toppings! I always fall in the-more-the-merrier camp when it comes to toppings on Asian soup. Garnishing adds texture, additional layers of flavor, and makes the soup more presentable when serving. A few I’d strongly recommend here include:

  • Chopped fresh cilantro and green onions: These give a huge burst of freshness and also add a nice bright pop of color.
  • Crushed peanuts: I like adding chopped peanuts because they add a bit of crunch. If you don’t have any on hand, any other kind of nuts can be used instead.
  • Thai bird chilies: If you would like some extra heat (or you can add crushed red pepper flakes instead).

Essential Tom Yum Soup Ingredients:

The most absolutely essential ingredients for this tom yum recipe are the trio of Thai herbs:

This trio of Thai ingredients is what really gives tom yum its flavor, and without them you would not have a complete dish.

Other ingredients are still important though, especially Thai chilies (พริกขี้หนู), mushrooms (เห็ด), cilantro (ผักชี), tomatoes (มะเขือเทศ), sweet white onions (หอมใหญ่), lime juice (มะนาว), sugar (น้ำตาล), and fish sauce (น้ำปลา).

Full list of ingredients listed in the official recipe section below.

Popular brand of nam prik pao (น้ำพริกเผา) in Thailand

I like to use something called nam prik pao (น้ำพริกเผา) in my recipe for tom yum, and it’s especially necessary if you make the creamy version.

Nam prik pao (น้ำพริกเผา) is basically a Thai roasted chili sauce that’s packed with flavor and usually bought in a can these days.

Ok, so let’s move on to the full recipe now.

Thai tom yum recipe

But first, watch the video for exact detailed instructions:

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here:

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Copycat “Noodles & Co” Thai Curry Soup

I love Noodles and Co, and I really love Thai food. It’s so fresh and exotic. I came home one night after two bowls at the restaurant thinking there’s got to be a way to make this stuff. Here’s my go at it. My brainchild of that night.


  • 2 ounces, weight Rice Noodles (If They're Hard To Find, Buy The Box Of Pad Thai And Only Use The Noodles)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Lemon Grass ( If You Can't Find It, Don't Sweat It, Just Add Two More Tablespoons Lime Juice!)
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Fresh(or Ground Powder) Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Red Curry Paste
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  • 1 can (14 Oz. Size) Reduced Fat Coconut Milk
  • ½ cups Peeled And Deveined Shrimp ( Can Substitute Chicken)
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
  • ¼ cups Snipped Cilantro
  • ½ cups Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach Leaves, 6 Ounce Bag


Heat oil in saucepan. Stir in garlic, lemon grass and ginger until aromatic — about 1 minute. Add the curry paste and stir. Pour in 1/2 of the chicken broth and stir until curry paste is dissolved. Pour in the rest of the broth along with soy sauce and sugar. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, covered to let the flavors meld.

Stir in the noodles, coconut milk, shrimp, and lime juice. Cook until shrimp is pink and done. Stir in cilantro, mushrooms and spinach until softened. Ladle into bowls and serve with eggrolls or rice. Yum!


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Matthew Jacobs on 12.1.2014

Great tasting soup, almost dead on Noodles & Co. I added the red onions and red cabbage as another mentioned on here and it was almost spot on. Only thing missing was that little bit of heat at the end of each bite. Added a little extra red curry paste and still didn’t get the “kick,” but delicious none the less. Will try and add a little Thai Dragon pepper next time for some bite!

Vicky Odnoralova on 5.5.2014

This soup was delicious with a few additions. I didn’t have lemongrass, so I left it out and used the juice of 3 limes and it was perfect. At the very end I added sliced red cabbage, red onions and 1 roma tomato like the original Noodles & Company soup. Next time I’m going to make sure to add the spinach after I take the soup off from the heat because it shrivels up pretty quick and I like it real fresh.

Jean smith on 3.3.2013

Made this tonight and in heaven. I know a recipe is 5 stars when my 4 year old loves it. thank you.

Midwestchris on 11.16.2011

Nailed it! Thank you, this was delicious.

Sturgismama68 on 3.18.2011

I am so excited to try this…I adore this soup! Will let you know how I like it…thanks

One Review

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Annherlocher on 3.27.2011

This was amazing! So easy and so tasty. We don’t live near a Noodles anymore and this was my favorite soup. Thank you for posting! We will definitely be making this again… and again and again.


  • Onion – 1 no. (Diced)
  • Olive oil - 1 tablespoon.
  • Chicken breast - 1 1/2 pounds. (Skinless and boneless and it should be cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper (Freshly ground)
  • Garlic cloves - 3 nos. (Minced)
  • Red bell pepper – 1 no. (Diced)
  • Red curry paste - 3 tablespoons.
  • Freshly grated ginger – 1 tablespoon.
  • Low sodium chicken broth – 6 cups.
  • Coconut milk - 1 Can (13.5-ounce).
  • Lime juice (Freshly squeezed) – 2 tablespoons.
  • Basil leaves (Fresh) – 1/4 cup.
  • Rice noodles - 1/2 (8-ounce) package
  • Fish sauce - 1 tablespoon.
  • Green onions – 3 nos. (You have to slice them thinly)
  • Brown sugar - 2 teaspoons.
  • Fresh cilantro leaves - 1/2 cup. (Chopped)

Reviews ( 5 )

Loved this as-is without many changes. I used soy sauce instead of fish. Fabulous soup.

I've made this soup twice now. It actually tastes better THE NEXT day (also if you store it in the fridge overnight, you can skim off the extra fat and save some calories that way). The second time I made it, I threw in a little extra chicken stock seasoning, glass (vermicelli) noodles, leftover shredded chicken, and some chopped up baby bok choy. I did add a little more fish sauce and a dash of low-sodium soy sauce. This bumped up the taste and texture levels significantly and the soup recipe is now on my permanent rotation list with these minor amendments.

I have to agree with Kathy Fick's comments below. My boyfriend and I made this because we LOVE Thai food. We really had to doctor up the recipe to make it flavorful. We adjusted by the following: substituted the recommended water for all chicken broth. Add healthy portions of both fish sauce and soy sauce. My boyfriend added a touch of whole grain mustard, some cumin and thyme. I wasn't sure how that would affect the flavor, but it ended up boosting it significantly. We also added more garlic, fresh basil (in addition to the cilantro) and some Sriracha hot chili sauce. Ironically, this "Real Simple" recipe ended up being somewhat complex. :)


MIX pork, cornstarch, salt and white pepper in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate 20 minutes

MEANWHILE, soak rice noodles in warm tap water 15 minutes. Drain. Rinse noodles under cold water to cool. Set aside.

HEAT oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add red chili paste, chile and garlic stir fry 1 minute. Add broth bring to boil. Add pork and noodles, stirring to separate pork pieces. Return to boil. Stir in green onions. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve immediately.

Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup

Lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, rice noodles all come together in one of my favorite seasonless soups.

Do you go through food phases? I definitely do. This month Thai food is bubbling to the surface. I made Pad Thai the other day and re-discovered rice noodles, which are noodles made from rice flour instead of wheat (gluten-free in most cases), and which cook up springy and slightly chewy. You could use regular cooked noodles of any kind on this soup, from egg noodles to spaghetti or linguine that has been broken into shorter pieces.

Fish sauce is one of those ingredients most of us use with a bit trepidation at first, wary of the pungent odor, then once we find out what it can do to Thai, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian dishes we wield the little bottle with gusto. And that’s fine, give it a little drizzle, taste, see if you want more of that salty, rich umami-ness in your dish. Most well-stocked supermarkets carry it in the Asian food aisle Red Boat is a good brand.

You can use fresh lemongrass if you can find it, but you can also use lemongrass paste in a tube, or minced lemongrass, available in jars at specialty and Asian markets. And of course you can buy all of the ingredients online.

Lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, rice noodles all come together in one of my favorite seasonless soups.

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If you want to make this ahead (and like almost every soup in the world, it’s better when you do), make it though step 1, then add the cooked shredded chicken and put it in the fridge. Reheat, then add the noodles and finish the soup.

Jack and I found this merely pleasantly spicy, while Charlie and Gary – while slurping it down with zeal and then having seconds – commented on how chili-hot it was. Hold back on the amount of dried chili if you are just thinking mildly spicy is enough for you.

More Soup Recipe to Make This Winter:

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