Turmeric Chicken Soup ไก่ต้มขมิ้น

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This super easy, comforting chicken soup is full of wonderful aromas of traditional Thai herbs that truly represents simple home cooking from the south of Thailand. Turmeric, the star of the dish, is an herb that’s not used too often in Thai cuisine as a whole, but it is used a LOT in the south! I particularly love this dish because you literally throw everything into a pot and let it go. How much more stress-free can dinner be, right??

Do ahead tips: This is one of those dishes that taste even better the next day, so if you can, make it in advance!


Serves 4

  • 1.5 lb (700g) chicken drumettes (see note)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 small heads shallots, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, smashed and cut into 2 inch sections
  • 7-8 thin rounds of galangal 
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn
  • 7-8 slices turmeric root (sliced on a sharp bias)
  • Fresh Thai chilies, crushed, to taste and/or ground white pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • Fresh chopped cilantro or green onion for garnish

Note: If you want to use boneless chicken, go with dark meat, and then you MUST use a good chicken stock instead of water.


Marinade chicken wings in fish sauce and sugar for at least 1 hour (the longer the better).

Add chicken to a pot and add just enough water to cover the chicken by about 1 inch. Add shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric and bring to a simmer.

Simmer the chicken gently over low heat, loosely covered, for 30 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender.

Once the chicken is tender, add tamarind juice and salt to taste. If you plan on serving this with rice, make sure you make the seasoning a bit stronger. If you want it spicy, crush some Thai chilies and stir into the soup, or add some ground white pepper for more subtle heat.

Ladle into a bowl and top with chopped cilantro or green onions. Serve on its own or with jasmine rice, enjoy!

Support Hot Thai Kitchen