Gaeng Som Pla (Sour Soup with Fish and Swamp Cabbage)

    30 mins

    This soup makes an easy light supper with some rice and an egg omelette. It’s also very healthy for you.


    Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), Thailand
    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 4 bird eye’s chilies, finely sliced
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    • 4 shallots, finely sliced
    • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
    • 500 grams white firm-fleshed fish, cut into 2 cm thick slices.
    • 5 cups swamp cabbage, washed well and cut into 4 cm sections
    • 8 firm tomatoes, cut into 6 sections each
    • fish sauce, to taste
    • lime juice, to taste

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Pound the chilies with the salt until pasty. Add garlic, shallots and shrimp paste, pounding each ingredient well, before adding the next.
    2. Heat 3 cups of water in a large pot. When it comes to a boil add the paste and the swamp cabbage. Cook for a few minutes.
    3. Add the tomatoes. Bring back to a boil.
    4. Add the fish. Let simmer gently until cooked, about 3-4 minutes.
    5. Season the soup with fish sauce and lime juice to taste. It should be pleasantly sour and also a little bit salty.

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    First don't be scored off by the ingredient called Swamp Cabbage as it tastes great and also is quite healthy (unlike many other healthy foods) :-) Also this is NOT the Swamp Cabbage from Florida which is actually better known as Hearts of Palm. This Swamp Cabbage is also known as water spinach, river spinach, Chinese spinach (or watercress) plus a host of other names including Water Morning Glory. Significant as it actually is a member of the morning glory family and found throughout much of the tropics and sub-tropics. Yes it can be grown in containers in places such as our farm here in N.E. Ohio if you bring it inside during the winter (we use one of our greenhouses). As for Toi's version of this popular soup with as many recipes as there are grandma's and mom's (plus I'm sure some guys make it too). It is easy, rather inexpensive, quick to prepare, tastes great, light on the tummy yet fills you up and is hard to stop eating....................Meaning a total keeper of a recipe as my 13 yr old twins ask for it. Thank you for sharing it with the world :-)  -  10 Aug 2017