Soups are the canvas for today’s recipes – from a simple chicken pho, to dumplings in a fiery broth and the creamiest, dreamiest bowl of coconut and shrimp soup – here’s 21 Asian soup recipes that’ll please all at the table.
There’s something to be said for a good chicken noodle soup — particularly on snivel-ly, chapped days spent whacking up the heating every hour — but if spoon-and-bowl food is what you’re after, the rich, spicy, fragrant soups of Asia will see you through anything.
These are those gilded, singing broths you could just live off: sweet, spicy, and aromatic, enhanced by a deliciously satisfying contrast of slippery noodles and garlands and garlands of garnishes — from just a few crisp shavings of spring onion to a riot of dried chilies, spiky pickled vegetables and plump dumplings bursting with minced meat.
What we really love about these soups is their variability; there’s soups for eating at long tables with friends, soups for slurping noisily at home, soups that’ll bring out little beads of sweat on your forehead, and soups that cool and mellow.
There’s Taiwanese sesame oil soup (#16, we’d bathe in you), Tibetan Thukpa, and Chinese beef and bamboo shoot soup — this is Asia in your bowl.
1. Chinese Noodle Soup
Go beyond mere soup with this miracle of bold, fiery flavors.
Chinese cooking wine adds a welcome sweet note to what is an otherwise hot, peppery dish but the oyster sauce makes a more-than-passable non-alcoholic alternative.
This is a slightly more involved recipe that might seem like a bit of a faff at first glance — but it’s well worth the elbow grease!
The broth is what’s at the heart of this dish, so you’ll want to allow it the better part of a day to simmer, and if possible, leave it to sit overnight so that the flavors have ample time to really come into themselves.
Start a day early; or else you’ll find yourself keeled over at the stove from the exhaustion of trying to do everything all at once!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged by Asian-soup-enthusiasts that noodles make everything way, way better — and there’s nothing better than the warm embrace of this thick, spicy, umami-rich soup.
Drizzle liberally with your favorite chili oil to serve.
A gloriously spicy triumph over cold — and plain dreary — days alike, this ridiculously quick, zingy soup is just the thing for when you feel about ready heft your white flag of surrender and dial up for takeaway.
The ingredients list is mercifully short and the recipe wonderfully adaptable; throwing this together is no more than a matter of glancing around your store cupboard.
Heaven is a place on earth with you . . . and a never-ending supply of warming, ever-reliable soup.
The recipe calls for toasting, then grinding your own spices but don’t feel too bad if you’re not up to the task — the soup is still plenty capable of inspiring perspiring.
Oriental soups don’t get a whole lot easier!
An elegant, pared-back soup that’s as good for you as it is delicious!
Modelled after the cultishly-popular Weight Watcher’s recipe, this is an easy, uncomplicated dish that’s savory, satisfying, and bursting with flavor at every slurp.
Cooking Chew Tip: Last week we made this with leftover takeaway Chinese roast duck and it was wonderful! We recommend giving it a go with whatever protein you’ve got on hand.
Staring despondently at a pumpkin you purchased last week with the (admirably optimistic) intent of turning it into anything-but-a-pie?
Samesies — but don’t despair. We’ve got just the recipe for you.
It calls for Hokkaido pumpkin, but we’ve had lots of luck with the crown prince variety as well as turban squash.
Once you’ve mustered together all the ingredients, this indulgent, buttery soup comes together in a pinch!
It’s all about striking the right balance of flavors with this recipe so use the good olive oil and the good soy sauce and you won’t run into any trouble.
Interesting side note: this smells glorious — we’ve got half a mind to make a scented candle out of it (O.K, kidding, but not really).
Thukpa — interestingly enough, that’s almost the noise we make slurping up these luscious noodles.
There’s an omelet involved and some chicken thighs too and you’re supposed to pop a whole cup of cabbage in there . . . reader, this is proper hearty.
We’re a little full just thinking about it.
There’s much to be learnt from Thailand’s endless enterprising with the coconut — namely that we should all be using more of it.
Empty a tin of coconut milk into a soup and you’ve got yourself a creamy, thoroughly restorative lunch that’ll soothe all ills (and likely end up on your shirt, but that’s what napkin bibs are for).
Love’s a shrimp stew for two . . . or three . . . or four . . .
With next to no prep, this wonderfully uncomplicated one-pot meal feels very sophisticated for what’s such an easy meal! Bitter greens add a vegetal depth that’s very welcome here; as does bok choy or something similar.
Polish off any leftover broth with well-toasted, lightly-buttered bread.
What all those shortcut-hack chicken noodle soup recipes conveniently fail to mention is that a chicken noodle soup is the truest proof there is of alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange (one every cook should doubtless be familiar with) — that you get out what you put in.
Throw in some rotisserie chicken and powdered soup mix and you’ll get something very passable indeed; but nothing you might necessarily want to spend all winter with.
Make it from scratch, on the other hand, and you’ve got a savory, golden, aromatic soup that’ll put the competition to shame (and your sniffles to rest).
For us, a solid basis for the success of any party is food on skewers. We’re never happier than we’ve nearly impaled ourselves in our rush to eat some chargrilled meat off a stick.
So when we saw satay soup, well, we were more than a little intrigued — and we’re pleased to report it’s everything we hoped for. Salty, sweet, fragrant; well worth burning your mouth on.
This riff on a popular Cantonese classic features beef, not chicken as is customary, which makes for a far richer, more satisfying broth.
Fresh bamboo shoots are a tender, flavorful revelation — they’re a welcome textural contrast to the tender beef and velvet-soft napa cabbage.
The beauty of this easy Asian soup lies in its brilliant, fresh lightness.
It’s straight up child’s play — the bright flavors of zucchini, bell pepper, red cabbage, carrot form a rich, nutritive hotpot that’s much less nerve-wracking than a full-on stew.
A spicy, nutritious and wholesome soup for frosty winter nights.
Black sesame oil and ginger warm the toes like nothing else — except maybe your favorite fuzzy socks.
The recipe features Michiu, aka rice wine but since it’s usually pretty hard to find, Mirin, Japanese cooking wine makes a good alternative.
Regular readers will know that here at Cooking Chew, we’re absolutely dotty for dumplings.
And you will be too, as soon as you get a sip of this of this sumptuous soup!
We use square wonton wrappers from our favorite Asian grocer to make these dumplings, but if you can’t find them, they can be substituted for gyoza wrappers in a pinch.
It’s still way harder to get good pho out here then it should be — and while we’ve long been making our own, we fear we’ll never have anything on those hole-in-the-wall pho joints on every Vietnamese street corner.
But this comfortingly savory, fragrant chicken broth just might be the next best thing!
Give it a go the next time you’ve got a few hours on your hands: you’ll find it’s very worth it.
There’s no woe a big, hearty helping of delicious, warming broth can’t chase away.
This dish is a real winter-time treat: you can easily swap out the chicken for whatever protein you like best!
Rich, meaty, gloriously-squeaky mushrooms swimming in a clear, sharp broth — add a kick of spice with with your favorite hot sauce for a truly, madly, deeply satisfying dish that’s bursting with bold, fiery flavors.
Indubitably one of the best Asian soups out there!
If you still don’t like tofu, we’re sorry to say it’s probably because you’ve never had any worth eating.
Here, silken tofu lends this takeaway classic a nutty richness that’s impossible to beat — slurp it up in big quivering chunks!
The bottom line
Somewhere on this list is the best Asian soup idea there ever was — we’re sure of it.
And that’s all the reason we need to cook and slurp and spill and splutter our way through it.
There’s no greater reward than that first sip of the broth you’ve been tending to on the hob all day; the aching limbs, the pile of washing up, it’s all made worth it by the warmth that blooms in your chest the minute that soup hits the spot.
We’d chase that feeling into the deepest, darkest recesses of obscure Asian grocers, chase it right into abandoning plans to stand by the stove — we’d do anything for soup.
21 Asian Soups
From a simple chicken pho, to dumplings in a fiery broth and the creamiest bowl of coconut and shrimp soup – here’s 21 Asian soup recipes that’ll please all.
- Chinese Noodle Soup
- Nourishing Asian Inspired Soup
- Asian Spicy Noodle Soup
- Asian Rice Noodle Soup With Shrimp
- Asian Spiced Chicken And Vegetable Soup
- Weight Watcher’s Asian Soup
- Pumpkin And Shiitake Soup
- Oriental Soup With Shrimp
- Thukpa: Tibetan Soupy Noodles
- Thai Coconut Mandarin Soup
- Crockpot Asian Shrimp Soup
- Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Satay Soup
- Beef And Bamboo Shoot Soup
- Rainbow Holiday Detox Soup
- Taiwanese Sesame Oil Soup
- Easy Dumpling Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pho
- Crazy Easy Asian Soup Broth
- Shiitake And Ginger Broth
- Egg And Tofu Soup
- Choose one or more options from our list of Asian soups here!
- Create your new favorite dish.
- Pat yourself on the back for making food at home for you to enjoy!
- Share and comment! Did you make any tweaks, so it’s all your own?