Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

This sweet, spicy and fragrant chicken soup, called curry mee, is a happy contrast of hot broth, springy noodles and a madness of garnishes. Coconut milk has a particular weighty creaminess, called lemak, that can make some curries and soups too rich. Here, a combination of coconut milk and half-and-half is used to balance the broth.


  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1small onion, minced
  • 1tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1tablespoon minced lemon grass or pale green cilantro roots
  • 2cloves garlic, minced
  • 1teaspoon dark red chili paste, such as sambal, more for serving
  • ¾pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast meat, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3tablespoons curry powder, preferably Malaysian, Thai or Vietnamese
  • ½teaspoon paprika
  • 1can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½cup half-and-half
  • 4cups chicken stock
  • ¼teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1tablespoon sugar, more to taste
  • About 12 kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves, fresh or frozen (optional)
  • 8ounces dried thin rice noodles (bun or vermicelli), or other Asian noodles such as udon or lai fun
  • Salt to taste
  • 1cup bean sprouts
  • 3tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2scallions, cut into thin rings
  • 2shallots, thinly sliced and deep fried in vegetable oil until brown (optional)
  • Quartered limes for serving
  • Nutritional Information
      • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

        650 calories; 25 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 9 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 68 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 32 grams protein; 114 milligrams cholesterol; 1872 milligrams sodium

    Note: The information shown is’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and lemon grass and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic and chili paste and stir until fragrant. Raise heat, add chicken and stir-fry one minute. Add curry powder and paprika and stir to coat. Then add coconut milk, half-and-half, chicken stock, turmeric, fish sauce, sugar and lime or curry leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles in boiling water according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Rinse and drain.
  3. Taste broth and adjust seasonings with salt and sugar. Divide noodles into large soup bowls. Bring broth to a boil, then ladle over noodles. Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions and fried shallots, if using. Pass limes and sambal at the table.


  • To make this rich soup more substantial, boiled potatoes are sometimes added to the simmering broth and cooked until very soft.

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