Viet-style ginger soup recipe to warm your soul

Are you ready to step up your soup game? Look no further than this Vietnamese ginger chicken soup recipe. Bursting with fragrant spices and fresh herbs, it’s a hearty and healthy comfort food that will warm you from the inside out.

But don’t be fooled, this isn’t your average chicken noodle soup. From the zing of the ginger to the saltiness of the fish sauce, every bite is an explosion of flavor that will have you coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds).

Whether you’re entertaining guests or just craving something cozy on a chilly night, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. So grab your stockpot and get ready to impress with some Vietnamese-style chicken soup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup
Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup

Are you in the mood for a warm and comforting bowl of soup that’s also packed with bold flavors? Look no further, because this Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup will satisfy all of your cravings.

First off, this soup is incredibly easy to make. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time, it’s perfect for both novice and experienced home cooks. Plus, if you have an Instant Pot, you can have this soup on the table in no time.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its unique blend of spices and herbs. Earthy ginger root and complex fish sauce create a savory base that’s perfectly balanced with the bright, acidic flavors of lime juice and cilantro. Toss in some fresh bean sprouts and scallions for crunch, and you’ve got a dish that’s bursting with texture as well as taste.

Of course, the star of any chicken noodle soup is the chicken itself. In this recipe, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are used for quick cooking and easy shredding. However, if you prefer dark meat or have chicken thighs or legs on hand instead, feel free to use those instead.

And if you’re watching your sodium intake, don’t worry – this soup can easily be made with reduced-sodium chicken broth and low-sodium soy sauce without sacrificing flavor.

Overall, this Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup is a must-try recipe for anyone looking to up their soup game. It’s wholesome, flavorful, and versatile enough to serve as either a hearty main course or a light appetizer. Trust me – once you try it, you’ll want to make it again and again.

Ingredient List

 A warm hug in a bowl: Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup
A warm hug in a bowl: Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup

The Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup requires the following ingredients:


  • 1 onion
  • 4-inch ginger, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) reduced-sodium chicken broth


  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut in half or thin strips


  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Toppings & Noodles:

  • bean sprouts
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped scallions
  • mint leaves
  • rice noodles

There are some variations you can make to the recipe with chicken wings or chicken legs.

Note: You can use an instant pot to cook this soup quickly.

The Recipe How-To

 Bursting with flavors and textures: chicken, rice noodles and fresh herbs
Bursting with flavors and textures: chicken, rice noodles and fresh herbs

Now, it’s time to get cooking! This Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup recipe is easy to make and perfect for a chilly day. Follow the instructions below, and you’ll have a delicious, hearty soup ready to serve in no time.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 4 inches ginger, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onions and ginger. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced chicken breasts to the pot and let cook until they’re no longer pink. This should take about five minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, add the fish sauce and black peppercorns to the pot.
  5. When everything is cooked through and tender, ladle into bowls and serve hot.

Pro tip: To give this soup an extra kick of flavor and nutrition, add in some vegetables! Bean sprouts make an excellent addition.

Enjoy your homemade Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup! Trust me when I say that your guests will be impressed by your new soup game.

Substitutions and Variations

 A balance of savory, spicy and tangy flavors in one bowl
A balance of savory, spicy and tangy flavors in one bowl

Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup is a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Protein: Instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs or legs with the skin and bones intact for more flavor. You can also use chicken wings or a whole chicken cut into pieces. If poultry is not your preference, you can use beef, shrimp, or tofu as a substitute.

– Broth: If you don’t have reduced-sodium chicken broth on hand, you can use regular chicken broth or vegetable broth. For a richer flavor, you can use homemade chicken stock instead.

– Noodles: Vietnamese ginger chicken soup traditionally uses rice noodles, but you can use other types of noodles such as glass noodles or egg noodles if you prefer.

– Vegetables: Bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro are common toppings for Vietnamese ginger chicken soup, but you can add other vegetables such as spinach, bok choy, or mushrooms to the soup.

– Spiciness: Adjust the spiciness to your taste by adding more or less ginger and black peppercorns. You can also add chili flakes for extra heat.

– Vietnamese Style Chicken Rice Soup (Cháo Gà): To make this variation of Vietnamese ginger chicken soup, simply cook the rice in the broth until it breaks down and becomes porridge-like in texture. Top with shredded chicken and enjoy!

Whichever substitution or variation you choose, the flavorful combination of ginger and fish sauce will bring your soup game to the next level.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect winter warmer soup for cozy nights in
The perfect winter warmer soup for cozy nights in

Once you have made this Vietnamese ginger chicken soup recipe, it’s time to serve it hot and fresh. This delicious and comforting soup is perfect for a cozy meal, or a warming pick-me-up on cold nights. To serve, ladle the soup in a bowl and add some fresh bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, scallions, and mint leaves.

For extra heat and tangy flavors, add some lime wedges to the serving plates. The sourness of the lime perfectly contrasts the richness of the broth, and their flavors nicely complement each other. You can also add some sliced chili peppers for an extra kick.

This soup is quite versatile and pairs well with many sides. If you are looking for a lighter side dish, serve it with a salad of greens or some quick pickled vegetables such as carrots or radishes. Rice is also a perfect side dish that pairs well with this soup. You can serve steamed white rice separately or mix cooked rice directly into the soup for a heartier meal as they do in Vietnamese rice soups.

If you want some crunch in your meal, you can stir fry some veggies or cut them into thin strips and add them on top of the soup as toppings. You can also use glass noodles (mien) instead of rice noodles for variation.

For those who love more savory food combinations, consider serving this soup alongside your favorite Chinese chicken dishes like Ga Kho Gung (Vietnamese Style Braised Chicken in Ginger Sauce) or Chao Ga (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Chicken). With these dishes acting as complementary items on your dining table, your guests will be talking about your chicken noodle soup game all night long!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Fresh ginger and lemongrass add a zingy kick to this soup
Fresh ginger and lemongrass add a zingy kick to this soup

One of the great things about Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup is that it stores incredibly well, which means you can make it ahead of time and enjoy it for several meals. To make it in advance, prepare the soup according to the recipe but leave out the noodles until just before serving so that they don’t get soggy.

One of my favorite tricks is to keep the broth and chicken separate from the noodles and toppings when storing leftovers. This helps to keep the noodles from getting mushy when they sit in the broth in the fridge. Store the broth and chicken in one container, while the noodles and toppings are kept separately. When it’s time to reheat, simply heat up the broth and chicken until hot, then add in fresh noodles and toppings.

When storing Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup in the refrigerator, it will keep for up to four days. If you plan on storing it any longer than that, I suggest freezing it instead. Simply store your soup in an airtight container or freezer bag in portioned sizes so that you can take out as much or as little as you need.

To reheat your frozen soup, simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then heat up on the stove over medium heat until hot. You might need to add a bit of extra broth or water to thin out the soup if it has thickened during storage.

Overall, Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup is a great option for meal prepping or making ahead for a party. By storing it correctly, you can ensure that you always have a warm and comforting bowl of soup on-hand whenever cravings strike.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A classic Vietnamese recipe that's easy to make at home
A classic Vietnamese recipe that’s easy to make at home

To ensure success in making Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup, here are some of my tried-and-tested tips to help you achieve a perfect and delicious result.

Firstly, I highly recommend using boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into thin pieces. This cut ensures that the chicken will cook evenly in a short amount of time, and the soup won’t have any fatty bits that sometimes attach to the skin and bones.

When it comes to cooking soup, it’s all about layering flavors. So don’t be afraid to play around with different types of herbs and spices to create a flavorful broth. For this recipe, I recommend simmering onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, star anise and fish sauce in low-sodium chicken broth for at least 30 minutes before adding in the chicken. If you’re feeling adventurous or prefer more heat, you can also add some sliced chili peppers when simmering the broth.

Adding acid such as lime juice or lemon juice is essential in balancing out the saltiness and spiciness of the soup. I suggest squeezing some lime wedges onto your soup before enjoying it.

Another tip is to keep your herbs fresh by waiting until just before serving to add them into your soup. Use cilantro, mint, scallions, and bean sprouts as toppings to bring more color, nutrients, and flavors to your Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup.

Finally, if you want to make this soup in advance or have leftovers that you want to put away for another day, I recommend separating the broth from the chicken noodles or rice soup. Store both components in separate containers so that they won’t get soggy. You can reheat each part separately or assemble them together when ready to serve.

These simple tips will definitely help you elevate your Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup game and make your guests ask for seconds!


As a seasoned cook, I know that sometimes things can go awry even when you’re following a recipe to the ‘T.’ But fret not! In this FAQ section, I’ve tried to anticipate and answer any questions that may come up as you prepare this Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe. So, grab a pen and paper, take note of these helpful tips, and let’s get cooking!

Why do people put lemon juice in chicken noodle soup?

Adding lemons to chicken soup can completely transform the flavor profile of the dish. Imagine a vinaigrette that brings a salad together, a pickle that elevates a burger, or sour cream that gives depth to a coffee cake. Similarly, a simple squeeze of lemon can balance out the richness of the soup and bring all the ingredients in line. The result is a brighter and more vibrant tasting chicken soup.

What does lemon juice add to a soup?

When preparing a hearty soup, it can be beneficial to incorporate a small quantity of an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice, towards the end of the cooking process. This can greatly enhance the overall flavor of long-simmered bean soups or soups made with meat. Adding a small amount of acid and then tasting and adjusting accordingly can help achieve a perfectly balanced and bright soup. This tip can be particularly useful to keep in mind when cooking up a savory broth for a party or gathering.

What is Chinese chicken soup made of?

When it comes to comfort food, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of Chinese chicken noodle soup (Jī Tāng Miàn/鸡汤面). This popular dish features thin wheat noodles, shredded chicken, a few leafy greens, and a flavorful clear broth. It’s a classic recipe that’s easy to make and perfect for chilly days.

What do you eat with Chao?

This recipe features a delectable and smooth porridge that may not catch your eye at first glance, with its neutral color scheme. However, its taste is anything but bland, especially when paired with a crispy chicken and cabbage salad, as well as garnishes of crunchy fried shallots and fragrant herbs. While cháo gà is typically enjoyed as a breakfast dish in Vietnam, it can be served at any time of day.

Bottom Line

With this Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe, you’ll have a delicious and satisfying meal that will leave your taste buds singing. Whether you’re throwing a party or just need a comforting dish to warm your soul, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. With a fragrant mix of ginger, chicken broth, fish sauce, and other flavorful ingredients, this soup is sure to become a staple in your dinner rotation.

By following my detailed instructions, tips and recommendations in this article, you can easily whip up this dish without breaking a sweat. Plus, with substitution and variation recommendations included, you can tailor the flavors to suit your preferences.

So what are you waiting for? Bring the flavors of Vietnam into your kitchen with this Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe. Add some lime wedges, bean sprouts, mint leaves, cilantro and scallions on top for some extra texture and freshness. And don’t forget to serve it with some rice or glass noodles!

Satisfy your cravings with this one pot wonder that’s not only healthy but also super easy to make – perfect for those busy weeknights when you need something fuss-free. Trust me – once you try this recipe you won’t be able to resist making it again and again!

Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup

Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe

Another weight watchers recipe (3 points per serving).
No ratings yet
Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 196.3 kcal


  • 4 inches peeled ginger
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin (white only)
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • lime wedge


  • Blacken ginger and onions by threading on a metal skewer and holding over a gas burner flame and turning until scorched on all sides (1-2 minutes).
  • Leave one piece ginger whole, chop the other when cool.
  • Combine broth, chicken, fish sauce, peppercorns, blackened onions, and the whole ginger piece in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and shred into bite-sized pieces.
  • Continue simmering broth for about 20 minutes.
  • In the mean time, soak vermicelli in a large bowl of warm water until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • Strain broth, discard solids, and return to a boil.
  • Add chopped ginger and scallions, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • To serve: divide vermicelli into 4 bowls, tops with bean sprouts and shredded chicken, then ladle over broth.
  • Serve with cilantro, mint, and lime on the side.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 427gCalories: 196.3kcalCarbohydrates: 29.7gProtein: 16gFat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0.6gCholesterol: 20.6mgSodium: 488.5mgFiber: 2.4gSugar: 4.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Chicken, Meat, Poultry, Stove Top, Vietnamese
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