• (Alan Benson)

Thukpa is a popular soup in the northern Himalayan region of Nepal. Fragrant, hearty and simple to prepare, this satisfying soup recipe is an easy midweek winter warmer.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (415 votes)


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
  • 300 g skinless chicken thigh fillet
  • 300 g rice noodles
  • 100 g carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • ½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped coriander, to serve

Spice paste

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground timur powder (Szechwan pepper)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder
  • 1 long green chilli, deseeded, chopped
  • 200 g tomatoes, chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

To make the spice paste, combine all the ingredients, except the tomatoes, in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and process until combined.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for 6–7 minutes, until aromatic and the paste loses its raw smell. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken thigh and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the stock and roughly shred.

Meanwhile, bring 2 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add rice noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again and set aside.

Add the carrot and capsicum to the stock and simmer for 2–3 minutes, until the vegetable are just tender. Add the lemon juice and season to taste.

Divide the noodles between bowls and top with chicken. Ladle the stock and vegetables over the noodles and top with coriander.


Photography by Alan Benson