Burmese Chicken Soup (Ohn-No-Kauk-Swe)


by Heather Harris Brady

We have a new Asian market in town and I went a bit crazy, so in order to use up all the ingredients you’ll be seeing quite a few Asian-theme posts leading up to Chinese New Year next week! This soup is sunshine in a bowl, and if you like Thai curries you’ll like this one. You can adjust the amount of heat to your liking by changing the amount of chili paste. Either way there’s lots of layers of flavors with lemon, lime, coconut milk and chicken.

This recipe is a compilation of several I found online. The only special-special ingredient is the fresh tumeric, which I found at my local mega-grocery. And if I can find it here in the wilds of the northern Michigan woods I bet you have it somewhere nearby too! It’s a strange looking ingredient:


When you peel it you see the bright orange inside, which makes the bright yellow.


Tumeric is rumored to be very good for you, but if you have a sensitivity to it then of course you’ll want to leave it out.

Burmese Chicken Soup, Makes about six generous servings

  • One pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 t. ground tumeric
  • 2 T. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 2 t. garlic, minced
  • 1 t. chili paste, or to taste
  • One can of coconut milk
  • 2-1/2 c. chicken stock
  • One stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • One fresh tumeric root, grated
  • 2 t. fresh ground gingerroot
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 2 T. cornstarch or chickpea flour
  • One package of udon noodles

Garnishes, optional:

  • Deep-fried onion
  • Boiled egg
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Wedges of fresh lime
  • Chili paste
  • Strips of roasted red pepper

The day before you want to make the soup marinate the chicken. Combine the first three ingredients in a plastic bag, knead them together well and refrigerate overnight.



The next day, remove the chicken from the marinade and lay it in a greased baking dish. Bake the chicken at 325 for about 35 minutes, or until firm and no longer pink in the center. Chop the cooked chicken and set aside.

To make the soup, add two teaspoons of peanut oil (if you have it, if not use any lightly flavored oil) in a large saucepan. Saute the onion, chili paste, ginger and garlic until fragrant.


Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, tumeric and the chopped chicken. Simmer 10 minutes.


Add the chicken stock. Stir the cornstarch into the fish sauce and whisk it into the soup.


I used ready-to-eat udon noodles, like so. Add them to the pan and taste the soup.


I decided to pump up the chicken flavor a little bit so I stirred in a tablespoon of this chicken stock base.


Simmer for another five minutes and serve.


Refrigerate any leftovers.

Two years ago: Ono Butter Mochi
One year ago: Chocolate Souffle


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