A Deliciously Tasty Thai Chicken Feet Soup Recipe

Chicken feet are considered a delicacy in many parts of Asia. Aside from their downright delightful flavor, they are believed to be extremely beneficial for aiding in joint pain and bone loss. Chicken feet (animal feet in general) are loaded with collagen, one of the most concentrated and needed proteins in our bodies.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of collagen is the effect it has on maintaining the skin’s vitality. Many women throughout Asia make chicken feet broth a regular part of their diets for this reason.

In fact, the most popular soup in Thailand (located in Southeast Asia) is Tom Yum Teen Gai. In Thai, “tom” means boiling, “yum” is spicy sour, “teen” means feet, and “gai” is chicken. Put it all together and you have delicious spicy and sour chicken feet soup.

Below is the recipe so you can put it all together and enjoy this fabulous broth. Warning: this soup is not recommended for people with acid reflux.

A Deliciously Tasty Thai Chicken Feet Soup Recipe

As is customary with traditional Thai recipes, many of the ingredients are not specifically measured. How much is used is totally up to the taste each individual chef is trying to achieve.


  • 2 pounds of fresh chicken feet, trimmed and scrubbed well
  • 6-8 cloves of peeled garlic, smashed
  • 4 stalks of lemon grass
  • 4-5 shallots, chopped
  • handful of fresh lime leaves
  • 15-20 cherry tomatoes, leave whole
  • 20-30 bird’s eye chilie peppers
  • 2-3 handfuls of mushrooms
  • 10-15 limes, cut in half
  • fish sauce to taste
  • spoonful or so of sugar
  • salt to taste
  • water


  1. Place the freshly scrubbed chicken feet into a large stockpot and pour in enough water to just cover them. Flatten the lemongrass with a meat tenderizer or other tool. Tie the grass into a knot and place it in the pot. Then add the shallots, garlic, and lime leaves. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to a low boil for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. As the soup is boiling, add in the bird’s eye chilies.
  3. As the feet become tender, add in the mushrooms, tomatoes, the juice of about 5 limes. Squeeze the limes into your hand over the pot, so you can catch the seeds.
  4. As the soup is still boiling, add in a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and some fish sauce. Mix well and taste. Add more of these ingredients if needed. Continue to boil for about 10 minutes and taste again. Add what is needed. When the soup is sour yet spicy, it is done.
  5. Place the soup in a large bowl and allow everyone to serve themselves.

Do I Have To Peel Chicken Feet For Broth?

Many times, chicken feet will come with the yellow skin already removed. There is no specific need to remove the skin, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Just make sure to clean then well.

Should you choose to remove the skin, place them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Do not boil any longer than that or the skin will stick to the muscle. After boiling, dump them into a pot of ice water. The feet are easiest to peel while warm.

What Are Some Must Have Tools When Cooking Thai Food?

Cooking traditional Thai food often calls for very specific equipment. If you plan on such an endeavor, these tools can make your experience much more enjoyable.

1. Mortar and Pestle

This device is used to easily crush and even pulverize ingredients.

2. Wok

A wok in a large, deep pan that makes sautéing large quantities of meat and vegetables simple.

3. Rice Cooker

Rice cookers come in many forms. They may be made for the stove top or counter top. Either way, rice is a staple of Thai recipes and a rice cooker helps streamline the cooking process.

4. Stockpot

A large pot is vital to cooking the many delicious Thai soups and stews that the country had to offer.

5. Citrus Juicer

Thai food often calls for a bit of sour in the recipes. This is usually achieved by using citrus fruit. So investing in a juicer is smart. You can save yourself a lot of sticky mess.

6. Hand Grater

Southeast Asian recipes will often call for various grated or thinly peeled ingredients like ginger. For that purpose, a hand grater is a must.

7. Chopping Block

A good chopping block is a mainstay of any good Thai kitchen. Almost everything is trimmed, chopped, sliced, or diced. A bamboo block is one of the best as it is non-slip, does not hold moisture, and is antimicrobial.

8. Wok Brush

This cleaning tool made of bamboo is vital to keeping your wok clean while maintaining its patina. Scrubbing a wok is not advised.

In Case You’re Wondering What Those Thai Terms Mean

These terms refer to the various methods of traditional Thai cooking. They’re often seen on restaurant menus and in recipes.

  • tom – boiling
  • tum – smashed or pounded
  • tun – slow cooking
  • kruang jim – sauces and condiments
  • yaang – grilling
  • aob – baking
  • pad – stir frying
  • nueng – steaming
  • kaeng – currying
  • tod – deep frying
  • yum – cold cooking

What Other Dishes Can I Make With Chicken Feet?

So maybe you have made the soup and loved it. Perhaps the thought of some help with crows feet or joint inflammation is appealing. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for some other tasty ways to enjoy chicken feet, here are a few.

  • stewed chicken feet with scallion, ginger, and soy sauce
  • braised chicken feet with a honey glaze
  • chicken feet salad
  • chicken feet and black bean sauce
  • crispy fried chicken feet
  • chickrn feet with papaya, peppers, and garlic

Where Can I Buy Chicken Feet?

Often, traditional supermarkets will not carry chicken feet. Not to worry, Asian markets always have them. If there’s not one close to you, simply ask your butcher to save them for you. Most of the time they are thrown away, so you may even get them for free.

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