Spicy Cambodian Chicken Soup

Nicey Spicy

chicken soup

The beauty of this recipe is you can add as much or as little of the spicy paste as you wish. I like it super hot and spicy, but I think this comes from the years I spent eating Asian food in Hong Kong and Cambodia.  This soup somehow manages to be fresh, light and comforting all at the same time.

spicy chicken


_ Spicy Cambodian Chicken Soup


Serves 6


8 Free-range skinless chicken legs & thighs

3L chicken stock

6 spring onions, roughly chopped

2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, grated

8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

4 limes

Jasmine rice or brown rice, for serving

Fresh coriander, for serving

Bean sprouts, for serving

Limes, for serving


For the paste:

4-6 chillies, pricked with a sharp knife

6 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 chopped spring onions

small handful coriander

1 teaspoon palm sugar

¼ teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1 lime juice


Pour the chicken stock into a large pot. Add the spring onions, grated ginger and chopped garlic. Add the chicken pieces into the pot and turn on the heat. Add fish sauce and soy sauce to season. Once the soup is boiling, turn down to a low-med heat, simmer and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for 60-90mins (depending how long you can wait). The longer you cook it the more flavourful the soup will be. Skim the surface of the soup a couple times during cooking. At the end of the 90 mins, remove the chicken from the pot and using 2 forks carefully remove the chicken meat from the bone and add back into the pot.


To make the paste:

Pan-roast whole chilli and whole garlic cloves in a little oil until golden and tender, roughly 15 minutes on a low heat. Remove from the heat.

Add grated ginger to a pestle morter, together with spring onion and coriander and pound to a smooth paste. Add the roasted chilli (as much as you can handle), garlic and palm sugar and pound to a paste. Add fish sauce, soy sauce and juice of 1 lime and mix the paste.

Serve the chicken soup with fresh coriander, bean sprouts, rice, a good dollop of the spicy paste and an extra squeeze of lime. 

July 27.