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Give Your Homestyle Chicken Soup A Touch Of Thai Flavor

If you’ve ever tried sinigang with watermelon served at one of Manila’s more popular Filipino restaurants, then you’ll know that watermelon brings a subtle sweetness to balance out the sourness. The same principle applies when you add watermelon to this Thai-style Chicken Soup. And for a real spicy Thai kick, make sure to add fresh chopped chilies!


Thai Chicken Soup with Watermelon

Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 kilo whole chicken, cut-up 
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, or add more to taste
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut juice
  • 1 unripe papaya (about 150 to 200 grams), peeled, deseeded, and cut into cubes
  • 2 kilos seedless watermelon, sliced into cubes, then puréed using a blender
  • 2 tablespoons lime or green lemon juice
  • 1 stalk lemongrass


1. In a large heavy pot, sauté oil, garlic, onion, and ginger until fragrant.

2. Add chicken pieces and fish sauce. Sauté until chicken is brown on all sides.  

3. Pour in coconut juice and papaya cubes. Cover and simmer over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add watermelon and lime juice. Continue to simmer for another 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. 

4. Top with lemongrass 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot with steamed rice. 



This recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine, June-July 2014 issue

Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela