There’s nothing quite like a bowl of soup to offer comfort and warmth, especially when it’s loaded with vibrant flavors. My Thai Hot & Sour Chicken Soup is exactly that – a bowl filled with comfort, tinged with the exotic flavors of Thailand. It not only warms your belly but activates your taste buds with its unique blend of savory, sour, sweet, and spicy notes. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or just in need of some love, this soup the next best thing to a hug.

Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup Recipe

Why This Thai Hot & Sour Soup Hits All the Right Notes

  • Balanced Flavor Symphony: This soup is a perfect example of how the 5-S’s of flavor (savory, sour, sweet, salty and spicy) can come together in harmony. The savory chicken broth, enriched with herbs like ginger and lemongrass, lays the foundation. It’s the sort of base that envelops you in warmth from the very first sip.
  • A Tantalizing Tingle: The zest from the fresh lime juice adds that essential sour kick, lifting the soup’s flavor profile. It’s like a burst of sunshine in a cloudy sky, brightening every spoonful and making your taste buds dance.
  • Subtle Sweetness: Amidst the zing and zest, there’s a gentle undercurrent of sweetness. It’s not the in-your-face kind of sweet, but rather a subtle note that balances the sour and spicy elements, smoothing out the edges and adding depth.
  • The Warmth of Spice: And then, there’s the spice – not overpowering, but gracefully present. Those slices of chili pepper infuse the soup with a heat that’s more of a gentle caress than a fiery slap. It warms your throat in a way that’s comforting and invigorating, making this soup a delightful experience for spice lovers.


Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup Recipe

A Flexible Feast

Let’s talk about the magic of this Thai Hot & Sour Chicken Soup, especially when it comes to those hard-to-find ingredients. You know, those special touches that make Thai cuisine so unique. But hey, not everyone has an Asian market around the corner, and that’s perfectly okay! I’ve got your back with a nifty little trick that’ll still bring those citrusy notes to life in your soup.

Picture this: you’re about to squeeze a fresh lime for that zesty juice that’s going to brighten up your soup. But wait – let’s not overlook the lime’s skin. Before you slice that lime in half, take a vegetable peeler and peel off some long, fragrant strips of lime skin. These peels are little powerhouses of flavor! Give them a gentle squeeze or a twist between your fingers to coax out those fragrant oils. They’re a fantastic stand-in for the elusive lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. This little trick turns your soup from ordinary to extraordinary with ingredients you probably already have!

And let’s not forget about the heat – the chile slices. Remember, the more you add and the longer you let them hang out in the broth, the spicier your soup will get. It’s like a customizable thermostat for your soup! Want it milder? Go easy on the chile. Feeling adventurous? Let those chiles steep and bring the heat.

But why stop there? This soup is a canvas for your culinary creativity. Got some spinach leaves? Toss them in. How about tofu, shrimp, or some zucchini slices? They’re all welcome here. In the mood for noodles? Bean thread or rice noodles will make it heartier. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, throw in some snow peas or bamboo shoots for that extra crunch. The beauty of this soup lies in its versatility – it’s ready to adapt to your taste and whatever you have in the pantry. So go ahead, experiment and make this soup uniquely yours!


Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup Recipe

Katie Chin’s Thai Cooking: Bringing the Flavors Home


Have you ever stumbled upon a cookbook that’s so inspiring, it feels like a culinary adventure with every turn of the page? That’s exactly how I felt when I got my hands on Katie Chin’s Everyday Thai Cooking. And let me tell you, it’s a gem that deserves a spot on your bookshelf, especially if you’re a Thai food enthusiast like me.

I was lucky enough to snag an advanced copy of Katie’s book (and was so smitten by it, I even got to drop a few words on the back cover!). Katie’s got this knack for making Thai cooking approachable and fun for home cooks.

Let’s talk about some of the dishes you can dive into. Ever tried Steamed Mussels in Lemongrass and Basil? Or how about the Chang Mai Chicken Lettuce Cups? They’re a crunchy, fresh, and flavorful escape. And for those who love a good crunch, the Chicken with Cashews and Thai Chilies is a must-try.

Seafood lovers, you’re in for a treat with Katie’s Grilled Halibut in Mango Coconut Sauce – it’s like a tropical holiday on a plate. Craving something comforting? Her Spicy Peanut Noodles will hit the spot. And if you’ve got a thing for eggplant, the Thai Garlicky Eggplant is a flavor bomb not to be missed.

Whether you’re a Thai cuisine novice or a seasoned lover of all things spicy and savory, you’ll find something in Everyday Thai Cooking that’ll get you fired up to cook, eat, and share.


Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup Recipe Video


Frequently Asked Questions About Thai Hot & Sour Chicken Soup

  • Can I make this soup vegetarian? Absolutely! Swap the chicken stock for vegetable broth, and instead of chicken, load up on extra veggies or tofu. It’ll still be just as comforting and flavorful.
  • I can’t handle too much spice. Can I adjust the heat level? Of course! The beauty of homemade soup is that you can tailor it to your taste. If you’re not a fan of too much heat, use fewer chile slices or leave them out entirely. You’ll still get that beautiful balance of flavors without the fire.
  • Can I add noodles to this soup? Definitely! Rice noodles or bean thread noodles would be fantastic in this soup. Just cook them separately and add them to your bowl before ladling in the hot soup. It turns it into a more filling meal.
  • How long can I store the leftovers? This soup will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container. When reheating, do it over the stove and bring it just to a simmer.
  • Can I freeze this soup? Yes, but with a little caution. Soups with citrus can sometimes change in flavor after freezing. If you plan to freeze it, I’d recommend adding fresh lime juice after reheating it for the best taste.
  • Is it important to use fresh ingredients like ginger and lemongrass? While fresh ingredients do give the best flavor, you can use powdered ginger in a pinch. For lemongrass, the paste found in tubes at the grocery store is a decent substitute if fresh isn’t available.
  • What other proteins can I use? Shrimp, scallops, or even firm white fish would be great alternatives to chicken in this soup. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly for the seafood.
  • I can’t find kaffir lime leaves. What’s a good substitute? Lime zest is a great alternative. Use a vegetable peeler to peel strips of lime zest, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. Give them a squeeze to release the oils before adding them to the soup.
  • Can this soup be made in a slow cooker? Sure! Add all ingredients except the lime juice and cilantro to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro before serving. This method is great for developing deep flavors.


 Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup Recipe

Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

Kaffir lime leaves and fresh lemongrass may be difficult to fine outside of an Asian market. You can substitute with lime peel. In the recipe, you'll be using the juice of a fresh lime. Before cutting the lime, take a vegetable peeler and peel long strips of the lime skin. Use your fingers and squeeze/wring the peel a bit to release its flavors and fragrant oil. The more chile slices you use and the longer you let it steep in the broth, the spicier it will be.
Other ingredients you can add: spinach leaves, tofu, shrimp, zucchini slices, bean thread noodles or rice noodles, snow peas, bamboo shoots, etc.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn (substitute with lime peel)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2" lengths and bruised (substitute with lime peel)
  • 1 fresh hot chile pepper, sliced (I used 2 large slices)
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomato (or 1 whole tomato, cut into wedges)
  • 1 15-oz can straw mushrooms (or handful fresh sliced mushrooms)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 lime, squeezed (about 2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • fresh cilantro leaves


  • In a pot, add the chicken stock, ginger, kaffir lime, lemongrass and chile slices. Bring to a simmer, cover, and then turn the heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out and discard the spent herbs. (You can taste the soup at this point, if you would like it more spicy, keep the chile pepper slices in the stock and discard just before serving.)
  • Add in the chicken pieces, cherry tomato and mushrooms. Bring back to a simmer on medium heat and then cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro leaves.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!