thai coconut chicken soup

thai coconut chicken soup

Isn’t soup season your favorite? It’s mine for sure. There is something about soup that makes me feel like I’m home. Maybe this is because it’s my food of choice when I’m sick, or maybe it reminds me of my childhood and all the times my sisters and I made ‘gourmet top ramen’. It could be, that fall and winter are perfect seasons for soup, and they just happen to be my favorite time of year. In my mind, soup comes along with oversized sweaters, fluffy scarves,wood burning stoves, and falling snow. In my opinion, these are some of the finest things life has to offer.

My hope is that I’ll be able to post many more soup recipes once the weather cools down. Here in the Bay Area, it’s warm and humid, thanks to a storm that flew in at the beginning of the week and flew out quicker than you could say galoshes, to leave us all hot and bothered. When I woke up Tuesday morning to the wind howling and the rain pounding, I was ready to throw the summer clothes in storage and break out the peacoat, but here I am, a couple of days later in a tank top. Ahhh, California. Not to worry though, the cold weather is coming, and I simply can’t wait.

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
serves 4



  • 4 ounces cellophane noodles
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1–2 red Thai (or jalapeño) peppers, seeded and finely chopped (plus slices for garnish)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon (or lime) juice
  • 4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, divided
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each), cut into 2 1/2-inch-long by 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (plus sprigs for garnish)



1. Place noodles in a bowl; add enough warm water to cover and let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain.

2. Combine broth, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, lime zest, lemon juice and 3 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer, add noodles and cook 3 minutes more.

3. Using tongs, transfer noodles to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

4. Add mushrooms to broth; season with salt, if desired; simmer 3 minutes more.

5. Add chicken and coconut milk and simmer, stirring, until chicken is just cooked, about 3 minutes.

6. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

7. Add chopped cilantro and season with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce.

8. Using tongs, divide noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of pepper.


October 18, 2009. asian, chicken, quick and easy. 1 comment.

chinese food please?

You know, sometimes life is hard. Occasionally things crawl into our lives when we don’t expect them, and definitely don’t want them. What can you do? You can dwell on the fact that these little buggers just keep coming back, and just won’t die, or you can suck it up and make Chinese food.

pot stickers

This Asian adventure was originally encouraged by these awesome noodle bowls (thanks to the Matthews and the Evans!) and a fantastic cookbook published by Willams-Sonoma. See, I’ve never made real Asian food before, but these adorable bowls gave me no choice. They just were not made for boring spaghetti. They needed something more; something teeming with fresh ginger and seasame oil. So, I decided to do the real thing. I must tell you, it was a bit of an undertaking, and greatly contributed to the day that would never end. However, it was SO worth it. I think that once I have a little more practice with this whole thing, it will come together much quicker. Besides, it was definitely economically friendly, and has a lot of healthy stuff in it too. Check and check.

chinese food

Egg Noodles with Shrimp, Chicken and Vegetables

from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Asian Cooking



1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs

3 tbsp sweet soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp fish  sauce

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp canola oil

3 oz (90 g) medium shrimp (prawns), peeled, deveined, and chopped

2 green (spring) onions, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups loosely packed choi sum or Swiss chard leaves, stemmed and cut into strips 2 inches wide


Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Add the noodles and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain into a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

Fill the same saucepan three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the chicken and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is opaque throughout, 10-15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and cool. Shred the chicken. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup water to make a stir-fry sauce. Set the sauce aside.

In a large wok or frying pan over high heat, warm the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turns opaque, about 30 seconds. Stir in half of the green onions, the ginger, and the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the eggs and let set for 2 minutes, then toss well to distribute. Add the choi sum and the sauce and bring to a boil. Separate the strands of the noodles and add to the pan. Toss and stir until most of the sauce has been absorbed and the noodles have plumped, 3-4  minutes.

Transfer the noodles to a warmed platter, or in our case, awesome noodle bowls. Enjoy thoroughly.

Pork and Vegetable Pot Stickers


For the filling:

8 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed

Boiling water as needed

3 cups minced napa cabbage


1/2 lb ground, minced pork

3 green (spring) onions, white and pale green parts, minced

1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin (rice wine)

1 tsp Asian sesame oil

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp ground white pepper (I used regular)

30 round wonton wrappers

Cornstarch for dusting

4 tbsp canola oil, or as needed


To make the filling, place the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl with boiling water to cover, keeping them submerged with a lid or plate. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain and trim off the tough stems and discard. Mince the caps and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage and 1 teaspoon salt and toss to mix well. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the salt to draw the water out of the cabbage.

In another large bowl, combine the pork, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, cornstarch, and white pepper. Drain the cabbage and use your hands to squeeze out any remaining water. Add to bowl with the pork mixture. Add the mushrooms. Using a rubber spatula, stir vigorously until the ingredients are well incorporated. Refrigerate the filling for 30 minutes.

To assemble the pot stickers, working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time, place it in the palm of your hand; keep the other wrappers covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with the water and fold the dough in half over the filling to form a half-moon. Use the thumb and index finger of your other hand to make 3-4 pleats along the round edge of the dumpling, pressing the pleats gently to seal. Gently flatten the bottom of the dumpling so that it sits upright when placed on a flat surface. Place the finished pot stickers on a baking sheet dusted with cornstarch.

In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add 8-10 pot stickers; do not overcrowd the pan. Cook until the bottoms of the pot stickers are golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan, cover tightly, and steam until all the water has evaporated, and the pot stickers are tender but still firm, 5-7 minutes.

Wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm while you cook the remaining pot stickers. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve at once.


July 7, 2009. Tags: , , . appetizers, asian. 4 comments.