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Thai Chicken Glass Noodle Soup Recipe

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Thai chicken glass noodle soup recipe is perfect for cozy nights or when you’re feeling a bit under the weather. Loaded with fresh herbs like lemongrass and makrut lime, this authentic Isan dish is not only easy to make but also packed with health benefits.

Thai chicken glass noodle soup served in a traditional clay pot with a side of sticky rice.

It’s the right mix of spicy and tangy – just what we love about Thai food, all in one delicious bowl!

After making this, check out my collection of Issan Thai food recipes. It’s full of classic dishes like gaeng om gai, nam tok moo, and som tam pla ra!

Thai chicken glass noodle soup

These spicy glass noodles with chicken are the real deal. It’s my grandmother’s recipe, full of those fresh Thai flavors we can’t get enough of.

It’s my idea of comfort food. Filled with so much goodness – chilies, chicken thighs, lemon basil, green onions, and everything gets cooked just right in that irresistible broth.

Close-up of Isan chicken glass noodles soup in a traditional clay pot.

The best thing about it is definitely how incredibly healthy it is! Feel free to toss in your favorite herbs and soup vegetables.

Making this Thai soup recipe is a total breeze. It’s so easy, just throw everything together and let the flavors mingle, yummy!

And those glass noodles are absolutely perfect for soaking up all those delicious flavors of the broth.

Bowl of Thai glass noodles with chicken garnished with fresh herbs and spices.

It’s simple, it’s delicious, it’s the best way to bring some authentic Thai food to your table!

Why try this Thai glass noodles with chicken recipe

  • Nutritious and family-friendly: It’s a healthy dinner option that everyone will love. Adjust the spice-level for kids by reducing or skipping the chilies.
  • Isan chicken glass noodles: This chicken soup is a staple from Isan, the Northeastern region of Thailand. It’s a place often skipped by tourists, this dish is your 30-minute ticket to rural Thailand!
  • Spicy glass noodles soup: The broth strikes the perfect balance between salty and spicy, it’s not just delicious, it’s downright addictive.
  • Unique and traditional: Enjoy a unique family recipe, you’ll find nothing like this elsewhere.
  • Quick and simple: This recipe is the epitome of easy, ideal for any home cook.
  • Customizable: Chicken thighs are recommended, but feel free to switch the protein and toss in your favorite greens.

What are glass noodles

Glass noodles, known as cellophane noodles, bean thread noodles, Chinese vermicelli, glass vermicelli, or mung bean noodles, are transparent noodles made from starch and water. These gluten-free noodles are perfect for soaking up flavors, making them perfect for soups and stir-fries.

2 packages of glass noodles, and unpacked glass noodles underneath it, on a white background.

In Thailand, they’re called ‘woon sen’ and are key in many dishes like yum woon sen pork (a glass noodle salad) and goong ob woonsen (Thai glass noodles with prawn).

When you get dry glass noodles, make sure to soak them in water. Check the package for how long, which can be anywhere from 5 minutes or more.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Top-view of ingredients for Thai chicken glass noodle soup including kaffir lime leaves, chilies, shallots, water, glass noodles, and more.
  • Chicken – Opt for chopped chicken thighs. This Isan soup adapts well to other protein too, like pork or beef.
  • Glass noodles – A staple in Thai cuisine, perfect for soaking up the rich flavors of the chicken broth.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – Often used in Thai curries and stir-fries, these fragrant leaves are also known as makrut lime leaves, imparting a unique taste.
  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass infuses a refreshing lemony flavor and aroma.
  • Lemon basil – Popular in Lao and Isan cooking, lemon basil brings a fragrant lemon scent and a zing to our soups, curries, and more.
  • Fermented fish sauce – A staple of Isan cuisine, with a robust umami and fishy flavor. It’s the soul of our local dishes, like som tam pla ra (green papaya salad with fermented fish sauce). If you don’t have fermented fish sauce or simply don’t want to use it, you can omit it.
  • Fish sauce – Brings the salty and umami flavors.
  • MSG – Not a frequent ingredient in my kitchen, but MSG, a common flavor enhancer in Thai cuisine, was a staple in my grandmother’s recipe.
  • Salt – Elevates the flavors.
  • Oil – For sautéing the spices.
  • Water – The base of the soup, forming the broth.
  • Green onions, dried chilies, fresh chilies, shallots – A mix of heat and natural sweetness.

Short recipe video

Step-by-step instructions

Soaked glass noodles in a bowl.

1. Soak the glass noodles in water as indicated on the package.

A spicy paste of chili, lemongrass, and shallots in a mortar.

2. Crush dried chilies, fresh chilies, shallots, and lemongrass with a mortar and pestle.

Frying a freshly pounded chili, lemongrass, and shallots paste in a wok.

3. In a medium-heated wok, heat oil and fry the pounded paste for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.

Chicken thighs stir-fried with chili and lemongrass in a wok.

4. Add chopped chicken thighs and cook until they’re half done.

Chicken thighs simmering in broth with Thai spices in a wok.

5. Pour in water and stir in all seasonings including fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, salt, and MSG, cooking until the chicken is done.

Glass noodles added to chicken in a soup broth in a wok.

6. Stir in the glass noodles and cook for one more minute.

Finished Thai chicken glass noodle soup ready in a wok.

7. Turn off the heat, add lemongrass, lemon basil, and green onions, and mix well with the noodles and chicken.

More authentic Isan recipes to try: authentic Thai bamboo soup and gaeng om gai, a Thai chicken soup with Isan herbs.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Granite mortar and pestle
  • Ladle for serving
  • Large wok

How to serve

Serve immediately. Transfer the soup to a deep bowl and garnish with freshly chopped herbs like green onions or cilantro.

Serve with one of these popular Isan side-dishes:

How to store and reheat

Let your leftover chicken glass noodle soup cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Reheating instructions: Simply reheat on the stove over low heat until the chicken and glass noodles are cooked through. If the glass noodle soup seems a bit thick, feel free to add a bit of water.

Remember, glass noodles can get soft and soak up the soup if you store them.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this in advance?

No, this is not the best soup to make in advance, as the glass noodles will soak up some of the broth.

Can I freeze this soup?

No, I don’t recommend freezing it, as the glass noodles may become mushy upon reheating.

Is this soup gluten-free?

Fish sauce should be naturally gluten-free, but some brands add some gluten-containing ingredients. Make sure to read the labeling of your sauces and seasonings.

More authentic Thai soup recipes you’ll love

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Thai Chicken Glass Noodle Soup Recipe

Thai chicken glass noodle soup served in a traditional clay pot with a side of sticky rice.
Delicious Thai chicken glass noodle soup, serve on its own or with other sides like sticky rice and a spicy salad.
Praew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Soup
Serving Size 3 people

Ingredients

  • 2.5 ounces glass noodles dry
  • 4 dried chilies add to taste
  • 3 chilies Thai chilies, add to taste
  • 2 shallots sliced
  • 1 lemongrass cut one half into thin slices and the other half into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 21 ounces chicken thighs chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fermented fish sauce see notes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon MSG
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cup lemon basil
  • 1/2 cup green onions cut in 2 inch sized pieces

Instructions

  • Soak the glass noodles in water as indicated on the package.
  • Crush dried chilies, fresh chilies, shallots, and lemongrass with a mortar and pestle.
  • In a medium-heated wok, heat oil and fry the pounded paste for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Add chopped chicken thighs and cook until they’re half done.
  • Pour in water and stir in all seasonings including fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, salt, and MSG, cooking until the chicken is done.
  • Stir in the glass noodles and cook for one more minute.
  • Turn off the heat, add lemongrass, lemon basil, and green onions, and mix well with the noodles and chicken.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Fermented fish sauce: If you don't have fermented fish sauce or simply don't want to use it, you can omit it.
  • Serve with sticky rice or other Thai side dishes.

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