20-Minutes Cambodian Chicken Soup Recipe For A Healthful Choice

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Embark on a culinary journey with our Cambodian Chicken Soup, a symphony of exotic flavors and aromatic spices that capture the essence of traditional Khmer cuisine. Tender chunks of chicken mingle creates a harmonious balance of savory, spicy, and citrus notes. Coconut milk adds a luxurious creaminess, while fresh herbs and vibrant vegetables bring a burst of freshness to each spoonful. This soul-warming soup is a true taste of Cambodia’s culinary heritage.

Step into the heart of Cambodia. Breathe in the aromatic blend of lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. Picture bustling streets, the murmur of conversations, and gentle temple chimes. Now, let that ambiance translate into a bowl of cambodian chicken soup recipe.

cambodian chicken soup recipe

This Cambodian chicken soup is not just a dish; it’s a narrative of the land’s rich culture. Every spoonful speaks volumes, transporting you to age-old traditions and local flavors. Whether in a buzzing city or a serene village, this recipe remains a timeless embrace of Cambodian warmth.

Dive in, discover, and let your taste buds embark on an unforgettable journey.

What Is Cambodian Chicken Soup?

Cambodian chicken soup, known locally as “S’gaw,” is a heartwarming dish infused with distinct Southeast Asian flavors. It combines tender chicken pieces with lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. 

Turmeric and fish sauce add depth, creating a unique blend of savory, sweet, and aromatic profiles. Fresh vegetables and rice noodles often complement the broth, making it both a comforting and nourishing meal. 

A reflection of Cambodia’s rich culinary heritage, this soup is a delightful convergence of tradition and taste.

cambodian chicken soup recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto Skip the rice and sugar, boost the coconut milk content, and consider adding zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles.
  • Paleo Replace white rice with cauliflower rice. Ensure all sauces and pastes are paleo-compliant, without additives or sugar.
  • Gluten-Free Ensure fish sauce and curry paste are gluten-free. Most are, but always check labels.
  • Whole30 Omit sugar and use Whole30-compliant broth and sauces. Replace rice with vegetable alternatives like zucchini noodles.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Replace chicken with firm tofu or chickpeas. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and find a vegan substitute for fish sauce, such as soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free).
cambodian chicken soup recipe

Recipe Directions 

  1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high. Add ginger, garlic, serrano pepper, and chicken; cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in curry paste, powder, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, chicken broth, coconut milk, pineapple, and rice.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy!
cambodian chicken soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Seafood: Swap chicken for shrimp or squid for a seafood twist.
  • Vegetarian: Use tofu or tempeh instead of chicken and vegetable broth.


  • Vegetables: Add bell peppers, mushrooms, or corn for extra texture.
  • Noodles: Incorporate rice vermicelli or flat rice noodles for a heartier bowl.
  • Herbs: Fresh Thai basil, mint, or coriander can enhance flavor and aroma.


  • Crunch: Sprinkle fried shallots or garlic for a crispy contrast.
  • Spice: Red chili slices or chili oil for heat enthusiasts.
  • Acidity: Lime wedges for a tangy kick.
cambodian chicken soup recipe

Can I Make Cambodian Chicken Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Begin by sautéing the ginger, garlic, serrano pepper, and chicken in a pan. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add all other ingredients except for coconut milk and rice.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Add coconut milk and pre-cooked rice an hour before serving, allowing them to heat through.

Instant Pot

  • Using the sauté function, cook ginger, garlic, serrano pepper, and chicken.
  • Add all other ingredients.
  • Close the lid, set it to high pressure, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Quick-release, stir, and serve.
cambodian chicken soup recipe

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: It’s quick and handy for those short on time.
  • Consistency: You’ll get a uniform taste each time.
  • Caution: Some brands may have additives, preservatives, or high sodium levels. Always check labels.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Depth: Homemade broth can have richer flavors, especially when simmered for hours.
  • Control: You determine the ingredients, ensure no unwanted additives, and control the salt level.
  • Versatility: Customize it by adding herbs, spices, or different meats.
cambodian chicken soup recipe

How To Serve ?

  • Temperature: Ensure the soup is hot but not boiling. A gentle steam signifies the right warmth.
  • Bowl Selection: Use deep bowls to maintain heat and accommodate broth and chunky ingredients.
  • Garnish: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a swirl of coconut milk, or a squeeze of lime just before serving to elevate flavor and presentation.
  • Accompaniments: Offer side dishes like fresh crusty bread, spring rolls, or a green salad.
  • Taste: Do a final taste check, adjusting seasonings if necessary.
cambodian chicken soup recipe

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Cambodian Chicken Soup

  • Spring Rolls: Crispy vegetable or meat-filled rolls offer a delightful contrast in texture.
  • Steamed Jasmine Rice: A fragrant accompaniment that can be mixed into the soup for added heartiness.
  • Green Mango Salad: A tangy and refreshing salad balances the soup’s richness.
  • Grilled Skewers: Chicken, beef, or vegetable skewers marinated in Cambodian spices.
  • Sticky Rice Cakes: Chewy and slightly sweet, these can be a unique palate cleanser.
  • Stir-Fried Vegetables: Lightly sautéed seasonal vegetables with hints of garlic and soy.
cambodian chicken soup recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup base and marinate the chicken in advance. Store them separately in the refrigerator.
  • Storage: Once cooled, transfer the soup base and marinated chicken to airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop over low heat, adding any additional ingredients like noodles or vegetables just before serving.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Adjust seasoning with additional herbs and spices to taste.
  • Garnish Fresh: Serve with a garnish of fresh cilantro or Thai basil for added flavor and brightness.
cambodian chicken soup recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Rice Bowl: Mix with cooked rice or noodles for a hearty meal bowl.
  • Stir-fry: Use the solid ingredients as a base for a quick stir-fry. Add fresh veggies and a splash of soy sauce.
  • Chicken Salad: Shred the chicken, combine it with fresh herbs, and use the broth as a dressing base.
  • Taco Filling: Use the soup solids as a unique taco or wrap filling.
  • Pies: Use as a filling for savory pies or empanadas.


  • Aromatic Base: Start with a fragrant base of lemongrass, ginger, and garlic for authentic Cambodian flavor.
  • Traditional Herbs: Use fresh herbs like kaffir lime leaves and cilantro to infuse the soup with aromatic notes.
  • Coconut Milk: Add richness and creaminess to the soup by incorporating coconut milk.
  • Fish Sauce: Enhance the savory umami flavor with a splash of fish sauce, a staple ingredient in Cambodian cuisine.
  • Tangy Element: Balance the flavors with a squeeze of lime juice for a touch of acidity and brightness.
20-Minutes Cambodian Chicken Soup Recipe For A Healthful Choice

20-Minutes Cambodian Chicken Soup Recipe For A Healthful Choice

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Course: Soups u0026amp; Broths


Prep time


Cooking time





A symphony of flavors, Cambodian Chicken Soup blends tender chicken pieces with aromatic spices, creamy coconut milk, and tangy pineapple. Every spoonful offers a delightful experience of traditional Cambodian warmth and culinary richness.


  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Vegetable Oil

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Fresh Ginger Root, Chopped

  • 1 Clove 1 Garlic, Minced

  • 2 Teaspoon 2 Fresh Serrano (Or Other Small Hot Green Chile, Including Seeds), Minced

  • 2 Pieces 2 Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Chunks

  • 2 Teaspoon 2 Red Curry Paste

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Curry Powder

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Fish Sauce

  • 2 Teaspoon 2 White Sugar

  • 2 Cups 2 Chicken Broth

  • 13.5 Ounce 13.5 Coconut Milk

  • 20 Ounce 20 Pineapple Tidbits, Drained

  • 4 Cups 4 Cooked Rice

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather all ingredients.
    Mince the ginger, garlic, and serrano pepper.
    Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks.
    Measure out the remaining ingredients.
  • Cooking
    Place a large pot on the stove and set to medium-high heat.
    Pour in cooking oil, allowing it to heat up but not smoke.
    Add the ginger, garlic, serrano pepper, and chicken. Sauté this mix, ensuring the chicken is browned on all sides, for about 5 minutes.
  • Blending
    Add curry paste, curry powder, vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar to the pot, stirring continuously to blend well and prevent any sticking.
    Pour the chicken broth and coconut milk, the pineapple tidbits, and rice.
  • Final Touches
    Reduce heat, allowing the soup to simmer. Let it thicken over 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  • Serving
    Ladle the soup into bowls, ensuring each has a good mix of chicken, pineapple, and rice.
    Garnish with fresh cilantro or lime wedges, if desired.
  • Additional Options
    For added spice, serve with chili flakes on the side.
    A splash of lime juice can elevate the soup’s fresh flavor.
  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups
  • Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Storage Containers


  • Opt for boneless, skinless chicken pieces for a leaner soup.
  • Fresh ginger root can be replaced with galangal for a more authentic flavor.
  • For a heartier version, increase the rice quantity or add rice noodles.
  • Balance flavors with lime or lemon juice if the soup is too rich or creamy.
  • To enhance the soup’s aroma, add a bay leaf or kaffir lime leaves during simmering.
  • Remember, the soup tends to thicken upon standing, so adjust the broth or coconut milk as necessary when reheating.

Nutrition Table 

cambodian chicken soup recipe

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