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Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

For national soup month in January, I came up with a new recipe every day. This one is my favorite! It’s so easy, with just a touch of special Thai flavors. For an even richer flavor, try using whole coconut milk. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 40 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings (2 quarts)


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 can (13.66 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Chinese or napa cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh snow peas
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Lime wedges


  • Toss chicken with cornstarch. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat; saute chicken until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove from pot.
  • In same pan, saute onion, jalapeno and garlic in remaining oil over medium-high heat until onion is tender, 3-4 minutes. Stir in seasonings, chili sauce, coconut milk and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
  • Stir in cabbage, snow peas and chicken; cook, uncovered, just until cabbage is crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Serve with green onions and lime wedges.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Regular cabbage may be substituted for Chinese cabbage; cook it a bit longer to make sure it's tender.
  • Julienned sugar snap peas can be used in place of snow peas.
  • Slicing vegetables on the diagonal will give Asian dishes a more authentic look.
  • Adding lime juice too early will turn the snow peas and cabbage an unattractive olive green color. Instead, serve with lime wedges so the acid doesn’t have time to change the color of the vegetables.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1-1/3 cups: 244 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 1017mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 17g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Paolo
      Apr 16, 2020

      Lots of adjustments to make it work. The chicken takes longer to pre-cook and you better add more oil than indicated or it will stick to the bottom when cooking. Also, there is no reason to simmer for 20 minutes only to then cook cabbage and chicken for only 3-4. If you do so, you will undercook both cabbage and chicken. This recipe is delicious, but the instructions need some serious editing. Very poor attention to detail.

    • sgronholz
      Jul 24, 2019

      What a delicious recipe and great way to showcase my homegrown Chinese cabbage and snow pea pods! I used regular coconut milk (not light) and would definitely make it this way again.

    • pajamaangel
      May 18, 2019

      No comment left

    • Jordan
      Feb 19, 2019

      This recipe is absolutley the best version of thai curry soup! It might be as simple as adding the chinese cabbage and peas but it works for it. I just made a few different varients of thai curry soups with different recipes but they fail in comparison to this recipe. Absolutely fantastic!

    • Tim
      Feb 10, 2019

      Excellent, simple recipe. I unfortunately used lite coconut milk (and added a tbsp of butter to make up for it). I highly highly highly recommend a few dashes of fish sauce. Really brought out the flavor.

    • Wendy
      Sep 25, 2018

      Says to use whole coconut milk as it makes a big difference, Yet, in recipe, light coconut milk is listed. Can you tell me what the difference will be?