Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup (Ohn No Khauk Swe)

  • Yield 8 servings

Spiced with turmeric and fragrant fresh ginger, this soup has just the right amount of spice to clear the senses.

Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn


3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 pounds boneless breasts or chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
2 teaspoons paprika
3 (13 1/2-ounce) cans unsweetened lite coconut milk
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chickpea flour or all-purpose flour
1 pound dried thin Chinese egg noodles (like chow mein noodles)
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 tablespoons ground dried red chiles, pan-roasted until dark and fragrant
1 large sweet onion, cut into halves, then cut into thin crescents, and soaked in water
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 limes, quartered
Fish sauce


  1. Combine fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and turmeric in a medium bowl. Add chicken and toss well to coat. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add paprika and mix until onions are well coated.
  3. Add chicken. Cook, stirring, until chicken is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Place chickpea flour in a small bowl. Ladle 1/2 cup warm soup from the Dutch oven into the flour. Stir until a smooth runny paste is formed. Add paste to soup in the Dutch oven. Simmer over medium-low heat until soup is thick, like heavy cream, 5 to 10 minutes. For a thinner soup, add more broth. Reduce heat to very low and keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Cook noodles in a large pot of water according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain and place in a bowl. Add a little oil to prevent sticking.
  6. Divide noodles among 8 individual serving bowls. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup over noodles in each bowl. Garnish with eggs, chiles, onions, cilantro, limes and fish sauce.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Pat Tanumihardja’s The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook (Sasquatch Books, 2009). For more information about The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, go to



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