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Tamarind Chicken Soup

Tamarind Chicken Soup

It’s not absolutely necessary to sauté the chicken for this soup. If you want to make your life easier, just chop the aromatics, purée them in a food processor, then boil it all together.


  • 3 Tbsp tamarind or ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1-3 Thai chilies, dry or fresh
  • 2 tsp turmeric, ground
  • ¼ tsp long pepper or white pepper, ground
  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 small Chinese eggplant
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 less-ripe tomato
  • 1 cup water spinach or spinach
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 scallions
  • Sambal oelek


  1. 1

    Soak tamarind in ¼ cup boiling water.

  2. 2

    Place garlic, ginger, chile, turmeric, and long pepper in a mortar or food processor and purée.

  3. 3

    Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put the chicken and aromatic purée in a bowl. Stir well to ensure each pieces is well-coated.

  4. 4

    Pour oil into a pot and sauté chicken on medium heat about 12 minutes. Pour in water, soaked tamarind pulp, and fish sauce. Boil 15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Meanwhile, dice vegetables into 1-inch pieces and add to the pot when the chicken is cooked, except spinach. Simmer 5 more minutes. Add the spinach and water and cook 2 minutes more.

  6. 6

    Add salt to taste. Garnish with minced scallion and a side of sambal oelek.

A variation of the Fish and Pineapple Soup from The Spice Trekkers Cook at Home