Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup (Ohn No Khauk Swe)

Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 8 servings


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