Nothing better than tucking into a bowl of steaming hot Chicken Thukpa after a long day! Everything gets done in the Instant Pot so you can make Thukpa the stress free way!
The word “thuk” means heart and thukpa is nothing short of heartwarming. Thukpa is a hot noodle soup with Tibetian origins and it’s made with vegetables and/or meat and an intensely flavourful broth. There are a million thukpa varieties, and it was so difficult to choose because they’re all so good. But our favourite is a chicken thukpa, with an intensely flavoured broth, juicy pieces of meat and a hot chilli oil to finish.
I love the fact that this Chicken Thukpa is a whole meal in itself, and incredibly nutritious. Meat, lots of veggies and noodles!. The broth is so comforting, and the chilli oil gives it that hit of heat. I made it in the instant pot. It’s super easy, I’m gonna stick with that method, and after reading this post, you will too!
Why should you make Thukpa in the Instant Pot?
Thukpa is only as good as the stock used to make it. When you make stock in the instant pot, there’s no guesswork involved. It’s a dump and go kinda recipe. On the stove top, stock needs to be simmered for a good 2 hours for all the flavours to come together. But in the instant pot, the stock takes 30 minutes. The other veggies and noodles are also made in the same inner pot of the Instant Pot so cleanup is pretty much sorted. I don’t think you need any more convincing 🙂
Instant Pot Chicken Stock
I made a chicken stock with veggies and spices. The stock gets its intense flavours from chicken, celery, mushrooms and whole spices like star anise, coriander seeds and peppercorns. It’s sooo good that you can drink it just like that!
Top tips for IP chicken stock:
- Sear the chicken in oil before adding any other ingredients to lock in the juiciness. We highly recommend using bone-in chicken thighs for stock. Chicken thighs can withstand the longer cooking time as opposed to breasts. And that’s why the meat remains really juicy and succulent.
- Fry the onions, celery and mushrooms with the chicken to get some colour on them.
- Strain out the stock with a fine sieve so that any debris gets filtered out.
Note: I shred the seared chicken pieces using a fork and add it to the boiling pot of thukpa. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked any more, so it goes in right at the end. All you vegetarians out there can just skip the chicken and make a veg thukpa!
Though Thukpa finds its origins in Tibet, it’s super popular in Nepal, Bhutan and some North-East Indian states. Interestingly, the Nepalese are famous for their spicy version of Thukpa in which generous amounts of chilli oil are added. Adding chilli oil also gives the thukpa a gorgeous red colour. The chilli oil is made by soaking dry red chillies in hot water and then blitzing it to make a paste. Then the chilli paste is fried off in oil and seasoned. It’s so simple, but it really elevates the thukpa experience!
Assembling A Bowl of Thukpa
- In go the noodles
- Then gently pour the broth
- Drizzle some chilli oil (adjust according to your taste)
- Top off with spring onions and serve!
And that’s it! Such simple flavours that work so well together! Serve this thukpa and Netflix all evening!
If you liked this recipe, leave me a comment below!
More Soupy Noodles You’ll Like:
- Vegetarian Pho
- Burmese Khow Suey
- Chinese Hot & Sour Noodle Soup
- Thai Carrot Ginger Soup with Noodles
- Spicy Thai Curry Pumpkin Noodle Soup
Watch how to make Chicken Thukpa Recipe Video
Instant Pot Chicken Thukpa
- 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 250 Grams Chicken Thighs bone-in, skinless (3-4 thighs)
- 1 Medium Onion diced
- 3 Stalks Celery chopped
- 1 Cup Mushrooms quartered
- 1 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Star Anise optional
- ½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorn
- 8 Cups Water
- 10 whole dried Red Chillies
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1 ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
- ½ Tablespoon Ginger minced
- ½ Cup Bok Choy stalk and greens separated, diced
- ½ Cup Cabbage shredded
- ½ Cup Carrot Julienned
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- ½ Teaspoon Vinegar
- 1 – 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Spring Onion greens, chopped for garnish
- 1 ½ Cups Noodles cooked
Instant Pot Chicken Stock
- Turn on Instant Pot to SAUTE mode on medium heat. Once the monitor displays hot, add oil to the inner pot and allow it to heat up slightly. Add chicken pieces and allow it to brown for 3-4 minutes, turning them over once they have lightly seared. Lightly sprinkle with salt.
- Add onion, celery, mushroom and sprinkle some salt. Stir and lightly sauté for about a minute. Add star anise, coriander seeds and peppercorn. Mix to combine. Continue to sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms have slightly browned. Add water, stir and close the lid.
- Press CANCEL and choose MANUAL on HIGH pressure. Set the timer to 30 minutes and turn the pressure valve to Sealing. Once the timer beeps, allow it to naturally pressure release for 15 minutes then turn the pressure release valve to Venting and allow the remaining pressure to release. Strain the stock (reserving the chicken) and keep the stock aside for later.
- Separate the chicken pieces. Using two forks, shred the chicken and keep aside. Remove the bones and discard.
- Soak dried red chillies in boiling hot water for 30 minutes or until soft. Remove the chillies and blend into a coarse paste.
- Add oil to a frying pan on a low flame and allow it to become slightly hot. Add the chilli paste and fry for 10-12 minutes while stirring continuously. Ensure the raw smell goes. Add sugar, soy sauce and salt. Add the vinegar and stir. Keep aside.
- Turn on Instant Pot to SAUTE mode on medium heat. Once the monitor displays hot, add oil to the inner pot and allow it to heat up slightly. Once oil is hot, add garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute.
- Next add the bok choy stalks, cabbage and carrot and sauté for another minute. Add the strained stock and mix to combine.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to ensure it is well combined. Add the bok choy greens and give it a stir. Add shredded chicken and allow this to simmer for 2 minutes. Then turn off the Instant Pot by pressing CANCEL.
- To assemble, place cooked noodles in a bowl. Pour chicken thukpa soup on top with bits of chicken and veggies. Drizzle with chilli oil and serve hot.
- Nutritional Info: The nutritional info is calculated using only half the chilli oil, because you won’t end up using the whole thing
- Vegetable Thukpa: To make this vegetarian, omit the chicken from the stock. Follow instructions as is. In the end, raw tofu can be added to include some protein