I made this Thai noodle soup for the first time about four years ago, and it instantly became one of my go-to meals.
It’s so quick and I always have the stuff around to make it and the only thing better than having it for dinner is eating leftovers for lunch the next day.
At Christmas time a few years ago, some of our very favorite friends, Blakely and Lindsey, from Texas came for dinner. They’d lived below us in our apartment complex for nearly three years and over that time we ate scores of meals together, swapped babysitting almost every weekend, and sent approximately ten million texts asking if the other had an extra egg or a few teaspoons of vanilla. I cried the day they moved, even though we were moving to North Carolina less than a month later.
Blakely avoids gluten and dairy, and this soup nicely satisfies those requirements without seeming like you’re missing out. As we finished up dinner, he sat back and said, “Janssen, I really miss your cooking.”
Which was basically the nicest thing he could have said. (You know that Mark Twain line “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”? You and me both, Mark).
And then we all got back to reminiscing about how convenient babysitting was back when we lived five feet apart.
And also about that crazy time that the college kids who lived above us had a big party and one of the boys got quite drunk and fell from the third floor balcony straight past our balcony and landed just in front of Blakely and Lindsey’s patio door, where they rushed out when they heard the thud to find him lying on the ground, totally unconscious, and they got to call 911 and within minutes, we had six cop cars, two ambulances, and a firetruck outside our building.
Unbelievably, he survived with only a couple of broken ribs, although his parents came and moved him out a few days later.
And. . .that story has nothing to do with this Thai noodle soup.
But you should definitely make the soup.
15 Minute Thai Noodle Soup with Chicken
15-Minute Thai Chicken and Noodle Soup
This delicious Thai Chicken and Noodle Soup only takes 15 minutes and is a crowd pleaser!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1-2 boneless skinless chicken breast (frozen is fine)
- 1 can 14.5 oz coconut milk
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 oz. dried rice sticks or the thinnest rice noodles you can find
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- salt to taste
- cilantro optional
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and add garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Stir to combine and let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
While that cooks, slice the chicken breast into thin slices (if it's still frozen, defrost it for a minute or two in the microwave and then cut it while it's still frozen-ish). Add to mixture on the stove, stirring to coat, and cook until the chicken is cooked on the outside (it doesn't need to be cooked all the way through).
Add the coconut milk, water or broth, and fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the rice noodles (I usually break them up so they aren't so hard for my kids to eat) and let cook for 3-5 minutes, until they are soft, then add the lime juice and salt to taste.
Serve hot, topped with cilantro if desired.
I use the very thinnest rice sticks I can find (they're thinner than angel hair pasta!). If you use a thicker one, they'll soak up more liquid, so you may want to add an additional 1-2 cups of chicken broth.
(adapted from The Woks of Life)
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Paige Flamm says
This soup looks amazing! It's definitely getting added to next week's menu plan!
Lindsey C says
Yes! so glad we were able to meet up with you guys! Pretty sure you need to rename this Hot Lava soup. Everyone time I hhave made soup for dinner since then, Charlie has sadly asked when I will be making him Hot Lava soup again because it is his favorite soup! Glad u have the recipe now and I can make all my 4 year old dinner dreams come true
That looks delicious. I especially love the beautiful orange dots on the top of the soup. I'm going to make it.
I absolutely want to make this but I most certainly do not have fish sauce and red curry paste hanging out in kitchen…but I'd like to. Would you mind sharing what this stuff looks like and where I should look to find it? The last time I needed curry paste, I ordered a big ol bucket (that was the only size I could find) from Amazon and it sat in my fridge after one recipe use until I threw it out a year later. I hate that! Thanks so much!
You bet! I just buy them at my regular grocery store (Kroger or HEB or Sprouts. Walmart and Target have them too if they have a grocery store section). They're in the Asian section and here are the ones I currently have:
this looks super similar to Perry's Plate… but she goes above the [veggie] mark and uses spaghetti squash for the noodles. it gives this amazing sweet background to the curry. so good. and i don't make the curry paste on hers in case you try it. 🙂
Alysa Stewart says
LOL stories like that one are just another reason I love your blog.
Jessica Pieper says
Can I ask what brand of rice sticks you use? I made this tonight and the rice sticks sucked up all the liquid and what I was left with was more of a noodle dish. Thanks!
Oh, what a pain! I've used a bunch of different brands – the one I have in these pictures is actually not my favorite. It does a similar thing where it sucks up the liquid pretty fast. I don't know what brand I like best, but it's the really thin one (like angel hair or even thinner) is my favorite. If it does suck up all the liquid, I usually just add some more broth or water and another squeeze of lime juice.
mine needed about twice the liquid that the recipe first called for… it was definitely more of a noodle dish at first but good flavor. Adding more liquid worked fine.
Very tasty but mine was more like a Thai spaghetti! Definitely using half the noodles next time. Other than that, enjoyed it very much!
Can’t wait to try this! Thanks! For those mentioning noodles that sucked up all their broth, I notice two things in the original recipe from The Wok of Life: 1. They suggest “rice vermicelli” noodles, which are *super* skinny, like string. 2. They suggest pouring the hot broth/soup over dry noodles in each individual bowl, allowing the noodles soften to an al dente texture that way.
Sara V Millett says
You did it again! My favorite recipes come from you!
Janssen Bradshaw says
Oh you are the nicest!
Is the Thai Kitchen red curry paste you usually use very spicy? Wondering if my 5 and 7 yr olds can eat it. They have pretty diverse palates but I’ve never cooked with red curry paste before.
Janssen Bradshaw says
Not very spicy at all – all four of my young kids have no trouble with it (and several them are very averse to anything at all spicy). You might half the amount the first time and see how it goes.
So easy, so delicious, and best of all even our picky kiddos love it too!! I make it (and crave it!) almost once a week!
Genice Wise says
Your recipe looks great! I love a quick recipe. I was wondering how important the fish sauce is to the recipe? Sadly, my family is not a fan of the fish-y taste.
Janssen Bradshaw says
I think it’s pretty vital, personally. It doesn’t make it taste fish-y, but it gives it the full-bodied taste that you need to keep it from feeling flat.
Try coconut aminos! that’s how I made it and it was so good. I won’t buy fish sauce, but coconut aminos have a similar sour, salty taste!
Better than our local takeout. it made an extra step but I could only find fat rice noodles so I boiled them ahead in water and added them to the soup right before serving.
I used the same brand red curry paste and was worried about the 4 chili peppers hotness indicator but it was great for everyone including my 3 and 5 year old.