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Tibetan Thukpa

Tibetan Thukpa

Several years ago, when I was working as a student midwife and had first told some of my friends about my new boyfriend, Derick, who was living and working in Nepal, a fellow student and friend of mine (Lindi) who had previously lived in Tibet made me this delicious soup to give me a taste of what some of Derick’s food in his Tibetan/Nepali neighborhood might be like and nicknamed it “Derick’s soup.” There are many versions of Thukpa and Thentuk depending on where you are, but this is the one we make and love. In Nepal, it might be made with water buffalo or chicken meat but could also be made with just vegetables.

Makes about 4 quarts (serves 4-6 people)

1 pound chopped beef (stew meat)

2 T. olive oil for cooking meat

4 quarts water or broth

5-6 green onions (or 1 small white onion diced)

2 T. garlic, minced

3 large tomatoes, diced

3 cups flour (plus more for surface)



1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped, including stems

With olive oil, brown meat on both sides in a skillet. Add broth (or water) to large pot with onions, tomatoes and garlic and bring to a boil. In mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour with 1 cup water and stir then knead for 10-15 min. continuing to add flour until dough is formed and smooth. Roll out dough on floured surface (about 1/8″ thick) and cut with pizza cutter into strips (about 1″ wide). Tear off small pieces and put straight into boiling broth. Add cooked meat and cilantro. Boil a few minutes until noodles are cooked, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Fun Fact: Sometimes we like to listen to the appropriate cultural music while eating international meals. I also listened to lots of Nepali and Tibetan music when Derick and I were dating while he was still in Nepal because it made me feel a little closer to him. 😉

Disclaimer: Recipes on this site are a collection of our favorites. Some are our own recipes and others may have not originated on our site and/or have been adapted from other sites.


  1. meryl

    3 lbs of lour? Just for dredging the beef? IMO, its too much and wasteful. I enjoy your international recipes.

    • Derick & Jill

      No ma’am. 1 lb. of beef is to be cooked in the oil, then the 3 C. of flour is just for the noodles. 🙂 Hope that makes sense.

    • CHINAT

      Dude, did you even read the recipe before accusing someone of wasting flour when she’s using the flour to make noodles?????

  2. Cathy

    aww, so sweet! thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m going to attempt to veganize this recipe lol. Out of all of the cultures that you’ve been exposed to, what would you say is your favorite when it comes to food?

  3. Deanna

    Hey Jill – I left a message on Instagram but I know how hard it is to see messages if you’re not following – I’m a blog designer and coach and you could be making SO much more for your family with just a few tweaks – I know it’s hard to trust a stranger but I’m willing to help you any way I can – I can send references from major brands and bloggers I’ve worked with.

  4. Becky

    How do you get the boys to eat such ethnically diverse food? I know when I was growing up, for me and my brothers, if it wasn’t hot dogs or chicken nuggets, we weren’t interested! How do you handle expanding their palette and which one is the pickiest eater, Israel or Samuel?

    • Derick & Jill

      They loved this because it’s similar to stuff they’ve had before.
      Sometimes it is difficult to make them branch out though. We frequently tell them, “you don’t have to like it but you do have to try it.”
      We give them small portions of new things and sometimes it helps if I feed it to them the rest off their plate to help them finish it up.
      Also, I’ve found that letting them help me make it in the kitchen usually helps them be more excited to try new foods (thanks @sierrajodominguez for that helpful tip!).
      I feel like they go through phases…Samuel currently seems to be more adventurous. lol

  5. Anick

    In Quebec, Canada, those noodles are called « glissants » and they are also very good in stews.

  6. BethAnnE

    This looks so good!! Should the broth be chicken or beef? Would a can of diced tomatoes work, or would that affect consistency and taste?

    • Derick & Jill

      I’m sure diced tomatoes would be fine. Either broth would be fine. I used a mix of turkey and chicken broth recently and it was perfect!

  7. Cheryl

    Do you think this soup would work with chicken or pork meat instead of beef?

  8. Linda

    I want to try this but hate cilantro. Trying to think of something that will go good as a substitute. Basil, Parsley, Chives, Dill… Anyone have ideas?

    • Denise Hemphill

      Maybe something like thyme, sage, thai basil, or lemongrass. I bet it would be easy to make it taste regionally unique from communities across the globe by picking a strong-tasting herb from an area and using that! Like you could even use a distinctive chili spice like sriracha sauce, yum!

  9. ashok

    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

    • Derick & Jill

      Yay! Glad they loved it!


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