Thai Coconut Lemongrass Chicken Soup 


  • Excellent Thai stock from College Inn
  • 1 quart chicken stock, or Thai chicken stock by College Inn
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, sliced thin
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried or lime zest
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 small Thai chilies, halved lengthwise or julienne
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinsed
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions Quick Tip For More Flavor

Common sense, if you use the College Inn stock shown, cut back a little on the salt and ginger.


  • College Inn is a rich, savory chicken broth infused with the flavors of coconut, curry, garlic and coriander. Available in convenient resealable cartons—use just as much as you need and save the rest for later.
  • Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a soup pot. 
  • Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilies, and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.
  • Uncover, stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, mushrooms, lime juice  and chicken. 
  • Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through; season with salt and pepper. 
  • Ladle the soup into a soup tureen or individual serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger, or lime leaves.

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup  
(Plan B – No Coconut)


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves or lime zest
  • One 3-inch piece lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and julienned
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small fresh red Thai chili pepper, seed and ribs removed, and sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • Mint leaves, for garnish
  • 2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves, shredded


  • In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. 
  • Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, scallions, curry powder, cumin, chilies, chicken, mushrooms, and fish sauce. 
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Stir in carrots, cilantro, and bean sprouts. 
  • Simmer for 5 minutes more.
  • HINT : It is not true that there is no substitute for kaffir lime leaves in Thai cooking. You can simply substitute lime zest to get a wonderful fresh lime scent and citrusy flavor that adds zing and freshness to your dish. A regular “everyday” Persian lime, like the kind you find at grocery stores, will do just fine. Better yet, use a combination of lime and lemon zest. Generally, about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of finely chopped lime zest can be used in place of one kaffir lime leaf.