Thukpa is a traditional Himalayan noodle soup popular in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and parts of India. Packed with fresh veggies, meat, and a ton of vibrant spices, it walks a thin line between soup, noodle dish, and stew due to its rich flavours and hearty ingredients.
This dish can accommodate a variety of meats, and lean chicken breasts make a particularly special addition, absorbing flavour and adding satisfying texture. Noodle choice is also very flexible. Thukpa recipes can call for all kinds of noodles – egg, rice, wheat flour, buckwheat. You can choose based on personal preference or what you have in stock.
Thukpa uses very specific spices to create its unmistakable flavour. Asafoetida powder, a staple in South Indian cuisine, gives this soup a distinct savoury quality. Szechuan pepper and red hot chili peppers bring the heat while fresh cilantro in turn adds a vibrant freshness. All the while turmeric, cumin, ginger, and garlic do their thing by building flavour to enhance the other ingredients.
Our recipe for Chicken Thukpa comes together easily in just under an hour.
- Prepare the chicken and vegetables. Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Cut vegetables into julienne strips and measure out the spinach. Place aside.
- Next, simmer the noodles in broth until tender. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
- Blend spices, aromatics, and cherry tomatoes in a food processor to create a thick, creamy soup paste.
- Heat vegetable oil and fry the soup paste for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, add the chicken and vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Divide the cooked noodles into individual bowls, pour soup over top, and garnish with cilantro.
Serve and enjoy!