Nepali Style Thukpa is a cross between chicken noodle soup and ramen. It is a simple, wholesome, and comforting soup that is flexible to please every lifestyle.
Thukpa is a Tibetan noodle soup but I am not an expert when it comes to Tibetan food (or any cuisine in that matter). I am sharing a Nepali Style Thukpa, a version I remember eating at restaurants in Nepal. Thukpa is something you will find at most Nepali restaurants along with the famous mo:mo(Nepali dumplings influenced from Tibet as well). If you are curious about Nepali food or need a comforting bowl, I’d totally suggest you to try Nepali Style Thukpa.
Nepali Style Thukpa is sort of a cross between chicken noodle soup and ramen. We begin with basic noodle soup ingredients such as noodles, veggies, protein, and spices. Typically, thukpa uses thick rice noodle but I use whole-wheat spaghetti for extra fiber + that’s what I had on hand. If you follow a gluten-free diet, feel free to use rice noodles or other gf-noodle of your choice.
Unlike chicken noodle soup, Nepali Style Thukpa doesn’t require premade broth. A combination of spices and vegetables are simmered in water to create a flavorful base for thukpa. In terms of vegetables, I like to stick to basics such as mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, and onions as using too many veggies could create unnecessary contrasting flavors and textures.
Spices like black pepper, cumin, turmeric, and szechuan pepper (timur in Nepali) are used. Szechuan pepper has a unique flavor, it’s somewhat lemony and not hot like black pepper. When eaten alone, it causes a tingling, numbing sensation in your mouth. You can find szechuan pepper whole or ground at most Asian grocery stores but if you don’t have it on hand, no worries.. you can totally make Nepali Style Thuka without it too.
Nepali Style Thukpa can be vegetarian, vegan, or made with meat of your choice or shrimp. The version I am sharing uses chicken but feel free to double up on mushroom for vegetarian/vegan version. If chicken is not your thing, you can use beef, pork, or shrimp.
You can serve Nepali Style Thukpa as shown above or go crazy with garnishes. Guess which one I prefer? Clearly crazy amount of garnishes like sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, green onions, soy eggs, sliced jalapenos, lemon slices and more tomatoes. Do whatever feels right after all it’s your bowl of Nepali Style Thukpa!
Nepali Style Thukpa
1.5 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
small knob of ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (may use boneless dark meat if desired)
1 cup sliced mushroom
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1.5 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon szechuan pepper
salt, black pepper to taste
2 large tomatoes, chopped
5 cups water
2 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
sliced radish, chopped cilantro,jalapeno slices, soft-boiled eggs, lemon,chopped green onions
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
Sautee onion until translucent. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 3 minutes until fragrant.
Add chicken to the pot and let it cook for 5-8 minutes. Add little salt and pepper.
Add sliced mushroom and carrot to the pot and let it cook until it softens a little bit about 5 minutes
Add spices and cook for additional 3-5 minutes then add tomatoes.
When tomatoes softens up, add water and bring it to a boil.
Boil the whole wheat spaghetti to the pot according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain and add to the pot with everything else.
Slowly simmer and adjust seasonings as needed.
When ready, remove from the heat.
Ladle hot thukpa in bowls and serve with your desired toppings.
If you make Nepali Style Thukpa, please do not forget to share your creation on instagram #foodpleasurehealth.
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