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Simple Thai noodle soup


A wonderfully warming noodle soup, with fragrant spices and a little heat all balanced with rich coconut milk.

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Rate this recipe 2.2/5 (29 Votes)


  • 1 good knob fresh root ginger
  • peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • seeds removed (optional)
  • roughly chopped
  • 1-2 stalks lemongrass
  • tough outer layers removed
  • roughly chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • peeled
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • a few sprigs reserved and chopped
  • a glug or two vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1-2 pinches ground turmeric
  • small jug vegetable stock
  • a couple of handfuls rice noodles
  • 1 x 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • 1 large handful raw
  • peeled tiger prawns (the shells and heads can be reserved for making stock in another recipe)
  • a few splashes Thai fish sauce
  • to taste


Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Blend the ginger, chilli, lemongrass, garlic and coriander in a food processor until quite finely chopped, adding a little vegetable oil if the paste is too dry.

Step 2

Add the paste to a large shallow pan and cook for a few minutes to release the aromas, stirring frequently. Roughly crush some coriander seeds with a pestle and mortar and add to the paste with a pinch or two of turmeric and the vegetable stock and simmer for a few minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, pour some boiling water over the rice noodles in a bowl and let them sit until they have softened, about 4-5 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Step 4

To soften the heat of the sauce, add the coconut milk to the pan and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes while you devein the prawns by cutting along the back of the prawn with a small sharp knife and removing the black 'thread' using the point of the knife. Add the prawns to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until pink and tender, finishing off with splashes of Thai fish sauce, to taste, and more chopped fresh coriander, to your taste.

Step 5

To serve, divide the drained noodles between two bowls and ladle over the aromatic soup with the prawns and serve straightaway. Chicken, scallops or mushrooms are a great alternative to the prawns.

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