Kaeng som

Kaeng som or gaeng som[1] (Thai: แกงส้ม, pronounced [kɛ̄ːŋ sôm]) or Asam rebus or Thai/Lao/Malaysian sour curry[2] is a sour and spicy fish curry or soup with vegetables popular in Southeast Asia.[3] The curry is characteristic for its sour taste, which comes from tamarind (makham). The recipe uses palm sugar (Thai: น้ำตาลปี๊บ, namtan pip) to sweeten the curry.

Kaeng som
Traditional kaeng som with drumstick pods
Place of originLaos, Malaysia, Thailand
Region or stateCentral, Southern Thailand, Northern Malaysia, Laos
Associated cuisineLaos, Malaysia, Thailand
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsFish and vegetables
VariationsLao Kaeng som, Malaysian Asam rebus, Thai Kaeng som
Other informationUsually served with steamed rice
Kaeng som kung dok khae is a version with shrimps and dok khae, the flowers of the Sesbania grandiflora
A traditional and basic kaeng som pla from Southern Thailand


A paste called nam phrik kaeng som[4] is prepared as a base for the curry, to which water and the ingredients are added. The preparation of this paste includes shrimp paste and shallots and all the ingredients are pounded with a mortar and pestle. This paste can be made from dry red chillies and one made from fresh red chillies. Some recipes state that large chillies should be used, others prefer bird's eye chilies.

Fish or shrimp may be used as the basic ingredient. Preferred fish are those that keep their consistency after boiling, such as Channa striata or other equivalent marine fish in coastal locations. One variant uses fish eggs.[5] Kaeng som is usually served with steamed rice.

Traditional vegetables used in household preparation include drumstick pods (marum), green papaya, and Sesbania grandiflora flowers (dok khae), including the red variant of the flower in kaeng som dok khae daeng. Other locally available vegetables are used in the traditional versions such as Ipomoea aquatica (phak bung) and Neptunia oleracea (phak krachet).[6]


Following the popularization of the dish, currently the favored vegetables include cauliflower, daikon, cabbage, chinese cabbage, carrot, long beans and asparagus, as well as cha om omelet.

The versions using shrimp instead of fish are more popular; kaeng som with shrimp and cha-om omelet is now a standard dish in Thailand. Other types may include pineapple or seafood. The common point, however, is that coconut milk is not used in this sour curry.[7]

Believed that this type of sour soup was developed from the ancient food since Ayutthaya period was called "Kaeng ngao ngod" (แกงเหงาหงอด). Which is a food that is similar to kaeng som today, assumed that it was adapted from the Portuguese soup by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali woman who was the chief of king's kitchen in the royal court of King Narai period.[8]


  • Southern Thailand has its own sour curry, which is locally called kaeng som, but in the rest of Thailand is called kaeng lueang ("yellow curry") or kaeng som phak tai ("southern Thai kaeng som") to differentiate it from the central Thai kaeng som. It differs from the central Thai dish through its use of tamarind paste, assam fruit (som kaek) and lime juice[9] to achieve the sourness, turmeric, which gives it a yellow color, garlic, shallots. The main characteristics of the southern variant is the use of turmeric and that it very spicy, sour and salty.
  • In Kelantan, the Malaysian state adjacent to Thailand, the Kelantanese-Thai dish kaeng som no mai dong is a version of kaeng som with pickled bamboo.[10]
  • Lao cuisine has a dish called kaeng som with different ingredients; a version of it has pork[11] and kaeng som pla is a fish soup that includes lemongrass and mushrooms.[12]
  • In Chonburi Province a version of kaeng som is made using kaffir lime as the souring agent and Solanum aculeatissimum eggplants (Thai: มะเขือเปราะ; makhuea pro).[13]
  • In Prachuap Khiri Khan Province there is a variant of the dish using fresh chili and Ocimum tenuiflorum (กะเพรา), a type of basil leaves.[14]
  • Kaeng som kai wan is a kind of kaeng som with chicken instead of fish.[15]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Thaifood: Gaeng Som - Sour Curry - many styles
  2. Sanitchat, Jam. The Everything Thai Cookbook Includes Red Curry with Pork and Pineapple, Green Papaya Salad, Salty and Sweet Chicken, Three-Flavored Fish, Coconut Rice, and hundreds more!. 2nd ed. Cincinnati: F+W Media, 2013. Print.
  3. "Thai Sour Curry (Central Style)". Archived from the original on 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
  4. nam phrik kaeng som
  5. Gaeng som with fish eggs
  6. Nutritional composition of traditional Thai foods used local vegetables Archived 2012-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Kaeng Som (Sour Thai Curry with fish)
  8. "ตำรับครัวนารี : แกงเหงาหงอด ตำรับกรุงศรีอยุธยา" [Tamrab Krua Naree : Kaeng ngao ngod Ayutthaya recipe]. TPBS (in Thai). 2017-01-12.
  9. "แกงเหลืองสายบัวปลากะพง - Southern Thai Spicy Sour Yellow Curry with Lotus Stems and Sea Bass- gaaeng leuuang lai buaa bplaa ga phohng". 2016-07-14. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
  10. "Slow food Malaysia". Archived from the original on 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
  11. Laotian Pork Cabbage Sour Soup - Kaeng Som Kalampi
  12. Phatoke Lao Derm Archived 2012-07-19 at archive.today
  13. อาหารไทยริมทะเล. พิมพ์ครั้งที่ 2. กทม. แสงแดด. 2552. หน้า 68-70
  14. อาหารไทยริมทะเล. พิมพ์ครั้งที่ 2. กทม. แสงแดด. 2552. หน้า 72
  15. Singapore unofficial food - (Thai) kaeng som kai wan
  16. Tastefood - Asam pedas Archived 2012-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.