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North Eastern Thai Herb Soup with Chicken – Kaeng Om Gai

This Thai herb soup with chicken comes from north-eastern Thailand – a region known as Isaan which has its own distinct culinary style. It is quite a poor region and so the dishes tend to be made from easy to obtain and cheap local ingredients.

Short Video Showing How to Make Kaeng Om Northeastern Herb Soup

North Eastern Thai Clear Chicken & Herb Soup - Kaeng Om Gai

Link to Making Northeastern Thai Herb Soup in case the video does not load

Vegetables are feature and the main meat used is chicken and most of that is free running and quite tough. Almost the entire chicken will be used in one form or another and boiling is quite a common method for recipes from the region.

This Kaeng Om soup features dill, a quite strong tasting herb, it’s light on chilies but there’s plenty of other vegetables cooked in chicken broth with chicken meat.

We have adapted it to suit a wider audience with prime chicken meat and omitting some of the more esoteric ingredients from the authentic recipe which many non-locals find not so palatable.

Authentic clear Thai herbal soup from the Isaan region of Thailand

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Ingredients needed for Kaeng Om Soup with Chicken

  • chicken meat
  • dill
  • cabbage
  • chili
  • shallots
  • garlic
  • turmeric
  • galangal
  • lemongrass
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • chicken stock or stock cube
  • chicken seasoning
  • roasted rice powder
  • holy basil
  • salt
  • sugar

Feel free to add or subtract the ingredients as long as you have the bulk of them and the base ingredients of chicken meat, stock, vegetables and some herbs and spices and the dill.

If you don’t have roasted rice powder then head on over to our Homemade Toasted Rice Powder Recipe and you’ll have it made in a few minutes – it’s easy.

Step by Step Guide to this Thai Herb Soup with Chicken

Step 1 Prep Vegetables & Meat

Chicken thighs are preferred because they have a little more taste than chicken breast but you can use any chicken meat. Remove any bones and gristle and decide whether you want the skin on or off.

Thai people invariably like to leave the skin on but in soups or when boiled it becomes a little rubbery so you may prefer to remove the skin along with the bones.

If you like you can throw the bones and skin in the soup and scoop them out afterwards or reserve for making chicken stock.

Cut the meat into fairly thin slices and set to one side.

Wash your vegetables and cut off the roots and very bottoms; separate thicker stems and pieces from the more tender parts cutting into fairly large pieces. No need for daintiness here.

Take shallots, chili, turmeric, galangal (if using), and garlic and give them a crush using a mortar and pestle.

Slice the lemongrass into thumb length pieces and roughly chop the dill.

Collage showing how to make Thai clear herb soup with chicken keang om
Steps to make Thai Kaeng Om – Clear Herb Soup with Chicken

Step 2 Making the Soup

To make the soup, heat water in a pan and add a chicken stock cube or alternatively just use fresh stock for a better taste.

Add in the crushed spices from the beginning.

When the water begins to boil add the chicken, thicker sections of vegetables such as spring onion bulbs and thick bottoms of the cabbage and cook for a few minutes at a simmer.

Add in the seasoning powders, roasted rice, sugar and salt and stir thoroughly.

Taste the soup and adjust seasoning to your preference and then allow to simmer for another 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Towards the end of the cooking add in the basil leaves, tender cabbage, kaffir lime leaves and remaining spring onion tops. Stir for a minute or two and serve.

Thai herb soup with chicken and dill from northeast Thailand

orth Eastern Thai Clear Chicken and Herb Soup Recipe

North-eastern Thai Clear Chicken & Herb Soup – Gaeng Om Gai

Phasinee Doddeo

The Video showing this recipe being cooked is near the top of the page – A convenient Jump Link to the video is below the description under here.

This simple north-eastern Thai soup is not made with chili paste, has no coconut milk but is rather a simple clear soup that is flavored with dill and other Thai herbs with the main ingredients being vegetables and simple meat such as teh chicken we are using in this recipe.
5 from 1 vote

NOTE: Any In-recipe images can be toggled on and off with the camera icons next to the Instructions header.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people
Calories 365 kcal


  • 3 Chicken Thighs Bone Out
  • 1 bunch Fresh Dill Weed Cut into sprigs
  • ½ Small Cabbage sliced
  • 2 Jinda Chili Traditionally much more chili is used to make the soup much hotter
  • 1 tbsp Roasted Rice Powder
  • 1 tsp Chicken Seasoning Powder Knorr chicken seasoning or similar
  • 4 cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 3 Shallots Medium crushed
  • 3 Slices Fresh Turmeric (optional) Sliced and then crushed
  • 2 Slices Galangal (Optional)
  • 2 Lemongrass Sticks Sliced
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 1 cup Holy Basil Leaves
  • 3 Spring Onions Cut into sections
  • pints Light Chicken Stock Fresh or Chicken Stock cube
  • ½ tsp Salt Traditionally fermented fish seasoning is used instead
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar But Traditionally North-Eastern Thai cooking has very little sugar


  • Chop the dill weed, spring onions and cabbage into sections an inch or two long.
  • Slice the galangal (if using), lemongrass and turmeric into medium thickness slices.
  • Peel and crush the garlic, shallots, sliced turmeric, and chili.
  • Remove the center stems of the kaffir lime leaves and spearate into halves. Detatch the basil leaves from their stems.
  • Slice into the chicken thighs and remove the bones. If you prefer you can remove the chicken skin or you can leave it on. Cut the chicken meat into slices for quicker cooking.
  • Add the chicken stock into your saucepan or wok. If using a stock cube then just drop it in the water.
  • Turn on the heat and add the prepared garlic, chili, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, and galangal to the warmiing stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then add in the sliced chicken and stir it all up.
  • Add in the thicker parts of the sliced cabbage and spring onion leaves with the bulb sections attached first (as they takes longer to cook). Also add the chicken seasoning powder, roasted rice powder, salt, and brown sugar and taste test.
  • When happy with the taste add the dill, basil leaves, remaining spring onions, remaining tender cabbage leaves, and kaffir lime leaf. Serve.


Calories: 365kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 22gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 929mgPotassium: 835mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 830IUVitamin C: 80mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 4mg
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