Ginger Coconut Milk Soup Recipe

I posted a picture of my lunch the other day, and a few of you requested specifics - it was a spring soup made with a ginger & shallot coconut milk broth, spring vegetables, served over egg noodles.

Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

The other day I posted a quick snapshot of my lunch on instagram (if you're there, I'm @heidijswanson). It was a soup I make quite often this time of year - with little riffs or tweaks each time. A few of you emailed me on the side asking for specifics, so I thought I'd share it here today. The gist is this - simmer a good amount of grated ginger and shallots in coconut milk, add the brightest spring vegetables you can get your hands on, and serve over egg noodles (or, alternately, pan-fried shredded yuba skins*). I like to finish with lots of cilantro and a squeeze of lime, but whatever fresh herbs you have on hand will do.

Ginger Coconut Milk SoupGinger Coconut Milk SoupGinger Coconut Milk Soup

Sometimes I add tiny cubes of tofu or tempeh for a bit more protein. And in the fall, I do a version steamed winter squash, lots of finely shredded kale, and a motherload of spices - lots of turmeric, cumin, chile pepper, and coriander. The ginger-spiked coconut broth is an easy-going backdrop for noodles, rice, grains, vegetables, added spices...I just pull from whatever I have on hand. In this case, I love the way the coconut milk lightly clings to each noodle, coating it just enough.

For those of you who take lunch to work, you can bring some of the broth in a thermos (or heat in a microwave), and bring the pre-cooked noodles and vegetables, cold, in a bag. Adding them just before you're ready to eat.

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Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

I use full-fat coconut milk here - 2 parts + 1 part water. I feel like the mouthfeel of the broth is just right. Not sure it would turn out nearly as good with low-fat coconut milk, without scaling back the water, etc.

12 ounces good, dried egg pasta noodles (or yuba skins*)

2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
1 14-ounce can water (use the coconut can to measure)
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated (~1T grated)
3 large minced shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Lots of seasonal vegetables, for example this pot had:
2 patty pan squashes, cut into small cubes
20 broccoli florets
16 asparagus tips
3 scallions, sliced
a couple handfuls of bite-sized mushrooms

to serve: lots of fresh lime juice, plenty of fresh cilantro

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Salt well, and cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain and set aside.

While you're waiting for the pasta water to boil, place another large soup pot over medium high heat. Bring the coconut milk, water, ginger, shallots, and salt to a gentle boil. Dial back the heat and simmer for five or ten minutes.

Just a couple of minutes before you're ready to serve, add the vegetables to the simmering coconut milk, and cook until just tender, a minute or so. Arrange a pile of noodles in each bowl, and ladle vegetables and broth on top. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime and lots of cilantro.

Serves 4. But perhaps cook more noodles if there are big appetites at the table.

*We have really good fresh yuba skins available in San Francisco - made by Hodo Soy. I suspect it might be hard to come by for many of you, but if you do, certainly make a version of this with the yuba skins. Separate them, fluff a bit, then pan-fried in a bit of oil until crispy at the edges. Serve the coconut-vegetables over the yuba "noodles"....

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Wow!! What pictures! I'm on vacation right now in France, and all I do is going to markets, cook, taste... Will make this tomorrow!! Love the little muchrooms. And I see them here in the market..

La Torontoise

love this. so sleek and concise, yet pulsing with flavor (yes, i can taste it, already). and such a versatile backdrop for whatever the farmer's market has to offer. thanks, heidi, for another winner.


Beautiful, Heidi!

The Healthy Apple

Those leettle bebe mushrooms are so cute I want to, well, eat them. And coconut milk governs my soul.

Bev @ Bev Cooks

This recipe reminds me of something I devoured in a Thai restaurant a few weeks back. Got to try this at home! Thanks.

Peonies and Pancakes

Full fat coconut milk? I'm game! I'm looking for a dessert option that makes use of coconut and ginger? Any ideas?

Natasha @ terra-bites

So simple, so good. Your recipes are delicious, simple things I should be able to think of on my own, but I can't. I need you to pull it all together for me. I love gingery coconut broth. What a treat for lunch at work!


Do you have plans for a new book soon?

HS: I've been slowly chipping away at a little something ;)


This looks beautiful, I can't wait to take this to work for lunch.


Genius idea for packed lunch/dinner! And yum, a really nice follow on from your SNC noodles. Thanks for a new idea!


This looks very nourishing, and those mushrooms look cute. What type are they?

HS: Ack - of course, I'm completely blanking on the type right now. I always think of them as the "soft little pastel yellow ones"....which probably isn't very helpful.

leaf (the indolent cook)

I love the look of this soup! It looks comforting but not wintry, which is nice for spring.

la domestique

A lovely and nutritious meal!


This is the great thing about most soups - they can be modded to fit the season and whatever veggies in your fridge. The soup looks divine, will definitely try this recipe!


Gorgeous! I am living in Japan right now and need to make this with some our or outstanding array of mushrooms.


Heidi, those mushrooms look so lovely - do you buy them at that incredible mushroom stall in the Ferry Building? I was amazed by that stall when I visited there several years ago........

HS: Hi Kate - yes! Far West is amazing.


This a lovely warming dish. My mother used this same trick too ( she used to pack us noodles and veggies in a container and the coconut broth in other for use to take to school) I love to pair pieces of precooked pumpkin in the broth too for a sweeter, thicker soup. Wonderful

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

I happen to have plenty of coconut milk and mushrooms on hand - love them both. This is a beautiful soup; both the flavors, textures, and the images. So pretty, Heidi!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

What a beautiful dish. So healthy and colourful. I love the idea of taking this for lunch at work.


Absolutely can't wait to make this. Coconut milk with anything is a winning combination with me...

Jade Sheldon

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