Thai noodle soup

Utterly delicious Thai noodle soup

I love this soup for breakfast, but clearly you can have it any time. Add tofu, fish, or chicken if you would like more protein.


To make the broth

  • 3 liters water
  • 3 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 4 ribs, celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
  • 6 black pepper corns
  • 80 g fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • pinch salt (big pinch)

To serve

  • 10 dry shitake mushrooms
  • 6-8 bunches glass noodles Also called bean thread noodles. The idea here is one bunch per person
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large romaine lettuce sliced very thinly you can use any lettuce – just make sure you slice it extremely thinly
  • 3 spring onions, green and white parts, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 big handfuls of bean sprouts blanches
  • 3-4 limes 1/2 lime per person
  • 2-3 small, red chilies, sliced thinly


Make the stock

  • Place all the broth ingredients in a big saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 hours.  You can use a pressure cooker for this, in which case, cook for 30 minutes.

Do some prep while the soup is cooking

  • Soak the shitake mushooms in plenty of cold water.
  • Soak the bean thread noodles in plenty of cold water in a different container.
  • Blanch the bean sprout in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to clean them. This is very important. Bean sprouts are big carriers of bacteria. Always blanch them before you eat them. They will still be crunchy.

Finish making the soup

  • When the soup is done cooking, drain it through a colander into another big saucepan.  Discard the contents of the colander.  Cut the stalks off the shitake mushrooms, slice them thinly, and add them to the broth.  Add the fish sauce.  Keep the soup simmering on a low heat.  You want it to be piping hot. 

Cook the noodles

  • Before you cook the noodles, have soup bowls laid out for as many people as will be eating.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.  Drain the noodles and then add them to the boiling water and cook them for 1 minute. Drain them and distribute them between the bowls. I always use scissors to cut them up a bit or they can be a bit overwhelming to eat!

Assemble the soup

  • Distribute out the lettuce over the noodles. Ladle the soup over the top, to fill the bowls and then garnish each bowl with coriander and spring onion. Serve at once. 
  • Serve with little plates of chiles and limes on the table, and offer the container of fish sauce too.  That way, people can add a squeeze of lime, a few chopped chillies, and a dash more sauce if they want to.


  • Of course, if you cannot be bothered or don't have time to make the stock, you can use a vegetable stock cube and it will be perfectly delicious.
  • You can also make the vat of broth well in advance and freeze leftovers, pulling it out for a smaller number of people. Each person needs 1 bundle of noodles, that's the only guideline here so if you don't have a crowd, freeze the extra broth and use it again another time.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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