Appon's Thai Food Recipes

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Soups - Thai Recipes

Isan Pork Cabbage Soup ( Tom Jub Chay Gardook Mu )

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This is another Isan dish from north eastern Thailand. It is a slow cooked soup made with pork, chinese green leaf cabbage, and shitake mushrooms. In Isan it's traditional to eat soups like this with sticky rice, the soup is used as a dip for the rice. Isan food is usually in this style, big on flavour, low on presentation.

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Pickled Bamboo & Pork Soup ( Gang Om Nor My Dong Mu )

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This is a typical Isan soup made from slices of pickled bamboo, three layered pork (meat with rind and fat still attached) and a stock seasoned with fish sauce.

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Tofu Soup ( Soup Touwhu )

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The tofu adds a lot of bulk to this tofu soup, and the shitake mushrooms add a lot of flavour.

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Potato Soup ( Mun Bote )

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This should probably be in the Western Influence section because we only eat potatoes from western influences. This soup is made from mashed potatoes and a sauce and is one of my mothers favorite dishes.

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Chicken Bitter Melon Soup ( Gang Gai Sai Ma La )

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This dish uses Thai green winter melon, a non sweet melon with a more pithy texture than other varieties. It's sort of a pithy version of a cucumber. If you can't find it, use unripe courgettes instead.

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Pork & Preserved Cabbage Soft Rice Soup ( Jog Mu Ham )

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You've seen this soft rice soup before in recipes with other flavours, we eat a lot of it in Thailand. It is rice cooked with lots of water, for a long time, typically overnight. The rice softens to become almost a purée of rice. As a shortcut, you can also use rice semolina, or make fragrant rice with too much water and blend it using a hand blender to break up the grains. The main flavour in this dish is the preserved cabbage which has a sweet, tangy flavour, it's available from Asian grocers.

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Soft Tofu & Pork Soup ( Gang Jueat Tauhu Mu Sub)

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We use many different types of tofu in Thai cooking, this soup uses, soft tofu, sometimes called silk tofu. Soft tofu is has more water and is not as firm as regular tofu, making it useful for desserts and soups but unsuitable for frying and stir-frys.

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Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup ( Gang Jueat Mara Koom )

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Be careful not to cook this soup too long, bitter melon is an aquired taste and the more you cook it the more bitter it gets. We Thais think of it as health food, we think the bitterness is good for you.

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Seaweed Soup ( Soup Sarai Tala )

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A simple dish of soup made from seaweed. Seaweed is a good source of essential minerals and this soup is a nice way to eat it.

Ingredients
100 gms Kelp Seaweed
1 Tablespoon Fish Stock Powder ( A Japanese Made Stock )
1 Tablespoon Chopped Spring Onion
2 Garlic Cloves Chopped
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
300 ml Water

Preparation
1. Put the sesame oil into the saucepan, add the fish stock powder, and garlic and heat for a few seconds.
2. Add the water, and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the sliced kelp and spring onions and simmer for 2 more minutes then serve.

Tuna in Ginger Soup ( Tom Som Pa Tona )

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This is a good fresh soup made from tuna and pickled your ginger root. A very typical Thai soup with seafood and Thai flavours.

Ingredients for 2 People
2 Cans of Tuna in Water
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Small Red Onions
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds or Root
1 Teaspoon Shrimp Paste
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
5 gms Tamarind Pulp
300 ml Water
20 gms Sliced Ginger
1 Tablespoon Chopped Chilli
1 Tablespoon Chopped Coriander Leaves

Preparation
1. Heat water on a medium heat, pound the garlic, red onion, black peppercorns, coriander seed and shrimp paste together and add to the water and boil.
2. When the water is boiling, add the tuna, fish sauce, palm sugar, salt, and tamarind. Stir while you bring it back to the boil, then add the sliced ginger, chopped chillis and coriander leaves.
3. Serve immediately.

Serve With
Thai Fragrant Rice

Fish Head Soup ( Tom Kong Hur Pa )

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If you've eaten canned fish soup, you've are probably eating fish heads! Since factory made soups use all the parts of the fish just like we do. In Thailand we're no so squeemish about these things, the heads of the fish make a great soup and meat under the mouth and at the top of the head has some of the strongest fish flavours of the whole fish. After yesterdays western sausage pizza recipe, I thought this would make a nice contrast.

Ingredients
2-4 Fish Heads
300 ml Water
5 Bird Chillies
2 Red Onions
2 Garlic Cloves
10 gms Galangal
10 gms Lemon Grass
10 gms Sweet Basil
10 gms Thai Grapow Basil
10 gms Dried Whole Chillies
2 Kaffir Leaves
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Preparation
1. Put water into saucepan and heat.
2. When the water is boiling, pound the garlic, red onion, galangal, lemon grass and add to the boiling water.
3. Clean the fish heads, put into the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add salt and fish sauce and boil for another minute. Pound the bird chillies and dried chillies in a Thai mortar. Add the pounded mix to the water and mix.
5. Finally remove from the heat, add the sweet basil, kaffir leaves, grapow basil leaves, lemon juice and serve.

Chinese Pork Bone Soup ( Gar Dook Mu On Tom Made Bur )

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The Chinese people sell ready made seasonings for this soup, 4 dried herbs ready prepared to make a soup stock. In Thai we adopted this dish and added some chilli (well don't we always!).

Ingredients
200 gms Pork Bones for Soup
50 gms Lotus Nuts
2 Teaspoons Salt
4 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1/2 White Pepper
1 Pikle Garlic
10 gms Chinese Soup Herbs
1000 ml Water

Preparation
1. Soak the lotus nuts overnight to soften them.
2. Clean the pork and cut into short pieces.
3. Boil 1 litre water in a sauce pan, add the fish sauce, light soy sauce, salt sugar, pickled garlic, white pepper and the chinese herbs and bring back to the boil.
4. Add the chopped pork bone and simmer until the water has reduced to 500ml (half).
5. Add the lotus nuts and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Serve With
Thai Fragrant Rice
Dried Flaked Chilli to Taste

3 Layer Pork Spicy Soup ( Tom Yum Mu Sam Chun )

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3 layer pork is a common ingredient in Thai food. On this site, I usually translate it to 'pork with fat and rind' in recipes. Here I've made tom-yum out of it, cook the soup long and slow so that the pork is good and soft.

Ingredients
300 gms Three Layer Pork
5-8 Chillies
2 Garlic Cloves
10 gms Red Onion
10 gms Chopped Galangal Root
10 gms Chopped Lemon Grass
2-4 Kaffir Leaves
4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
5 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Teaspoon Salt
10 gms Chopped Coriander Leaves
400 ml Water

Preparation
1. Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
2. Into a large saucepan, put the water, galangal, lemon grass, onion and salt. Bring to the boil.
3. Cut the 3 layer pork into 5cm pieces, and add to the boiling soup.
4. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the pork is soft.
5. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 more minutes.
6. Serve with rice, or eat on it's own.

Jack Fruit Soup ( Soup Kanoon )

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We call this a soup in Thailand, because its cooked in liquid. But as you can see from the photograph, it's a dry soup, the stock is boiled off and the ingredients served as a thick salsa usually served with sticky rice.

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Pork Lime Soup ( Gar Dook Mu Toon Manow Dorng )

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This is a typical use of pickled limes, I've included one in the picture, although it's only for flavoring and is not normally eaten.

Ingredients
2 Pickle Limes With It's Pickling Juice ( 100 ml )
300-500 gms Pork Ribs
1-2 litres Water
1 Chicken Stock Cube
1 Pork Stock Cube
Pinch White Pepper
Baby Sweet Corn

Preparation
1. Boil the water, add the chicken stock cube, pork stock cube and white pepper.
2. Clean the pork, chop into 4 cm pieces, add to the boiling water.
3. Add the pickling water of the limes, but not the limes themselves - we will add those later.
4. Simmer for 1-2 hours until the meat on the ribs is very soft.
5. Add the baby corn, and the whole pickled limes. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve With
Fragrant Rice or Noodles

Quick Broccoli Soup ( Soup Broccoli)

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If you've made one of my stir fry dishes, you'll probably have some broccoli left over. What to do with it? Why Broccoli cheese soup of course! This recipe is not Thai, after yesterdays spicy tofu I thought something more accessible would be better.

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Mushroom Medley Soup (Gang Head)

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This is a great way to serve fresh forest mushrooms. When I was a child in Thailand, my grandmother would take me out into the forest in the very early morning and we would pick wild fresh mushrooms to cook for dinner. You can use any combination of flavorful mushrooms, or if those are difficult to buy, you can get mushrooms in a jar from a supermarket. But you'll appreciate this dish more if you go mushroom picking at 4am to make it!

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Chicken Spicy Coconut Soup (Tum kha gai )

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This is a spicy chicken soup with coconut milk used to soften and add depth to the soup. A citrus flavour comes from Kaffir limes leaves and lemon grass. The spicy taste comes from the chilli, so you can adjust the chilli level to suit your own taste. The quantities are correct for a medium hot soup. The dish uses galanga root, which looks similar to ginger root and is sometimes referred to as Thai ginger. Don't be fooled, it is not ginger and you should not substitute ginger.
Like other Thai soups, rather than serve your guests a bowl of soup it is more normal to serve them a shared bowl and for them to use the soup by spooning it over rice to flavour the rice.

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Cinnamon Soup with Egg ( Pa Lo Khai )

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A very unusual soup, slightly spicy with the taste of cinnamon. The eggs make it a very filling meal rather than a soup, often served with rice to pad it into a full meal. This is something of an aquired taste, if cinnamon flavored boiled eggs are not for you, you may prefer to try one of the more common Thai dishes first and work up to this.

Ingredients for 2 people
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
4 Boiled Eggs
4 Piece of Brown Dry Tofu
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Pepper Corn
1 Tablespoon Chopped Coriander Leaf
1 Teaspoon Dark Soya Sauce
1 Tablespoon Light Soya Sauce
1 Level Teaspoon Salt
2 Level Tablespoon Sugar
1 Chicken Stock Cube (Or Vegetable Stock for Vegetarian)
200 ml. Water
1 Teaspoon Oil

Preparation
1. Pound the garlic, pepper corns, and coriander together in a pestle.
2. Remove the shell of the boiled eggs.
2. Put the water to boil and add the stock cube in a boiling pan.
3. Heat a frying pan, add the oil and the pounded garlic, pepper, cinnamon and coriander mix and fry.
4. Fry lightly until the garlic is softened.
5. Add the dark Soya sauce, light Soya sauce, salt, and sugar and stir it to mix it.
6. Add the whole boiled egg in fry them for a second to take on some of the flavours.
7. Put the fried ingredients into the boiling pan containing the chicken stock & water.
8. Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces and add to the boiling pan.
9. Boil for 10 minutes and turn heat on low for a gentle simmer for a further 30 minutes.
10. Leave it for cool then serve warm.

Suggestions
It is better to leave this to rest overnight for the cinnamon fragrance to infuse throughout the eggs.

Fish Stomach Soup ( Gar Por Bla )

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Stop, don't run away! Although this dish is normally made with fish stomachs, Thais also make it with fried pork rind, the kind you can find as a snack next to crisps (chips) in your local supermarket. It's not particularly unusual to see odd parts of fish used in soups, think of shark fin soup in Chinese cuisine, so this dish is not as strange as it may seem, but still, if fish stomach puts you off, use pork rind gratons instead. Another item you may not be familar with is Maggi sauce, this is a Nestlé made dark seasoning sauce that is very popular in Thailand and is available worldwide.

Ingredients for 2 People
100 gms Fish Stomach or Fried Pork Rind 'Snacks'
500 ml Chicken Stock
50 gms Chicken Breast
50 gms Crab meat
50 gms Cooked Bamboo (e.g. Canned)
6 Hard Boiled Quail Eggs
2 Shitake Mushrooms
1 Tablespoon Maggi Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Corn Flour
20 gms Chopped Coriander Leaves

Preparation
1. Clean the fish stomachs very very well and soak in water for 30 minutes. You may need to soak and rinse the fish stomachs two or three times.
2. Boil the fish stomach for 5-10 minutes and clean again in cold water.
3. Soak the shitake mushrooms for 10 minutes and chop them into bite sized pieces.
4. Boil the chicken stock, add the shitake mushrooms, and the chicken breast.
5. When the chicken breast is cooked, remove it from the boiling stock and shred it into smaller pieces and set aside.
6. Continue to cook the chicken stock with the mushrooms until the mushrooms are so soft, they nearly break up in the stock.
7. Add the crab, bamboo, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, Maggi sauce, and sugar.
8. Dissolve corn flour into 4 tablespoons of water and add to the soup, cook for 1 minutes to thicken it.
9. Serve the soup in a bowl with the shredded chicken meat and the boiled quail eggs added, and some chopped coriander to garnish.

Serve With
The following condiments are typically served for the guest to choose from:
Flaked Chilli
Vinegar
Sugar

Northern Style Spicy Chicken Soup (Tom Yum Guy)

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This version of Tom Yum soup (the popular Thai spicy soup) is eaten in the North of Thailand, it is made with chicken rather than the shrimp (tom yum gung) eaten in the south and coast. If you prefer chicken its a good spicy soup.

Ingredients for 2 People
150 gms Corn Fed Chicken
8 Bird Chillies
2 Garlic Cloves
20 gms Lemon Grass
20 gms Galanga
4 Kaffir Citrus Leaves
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
3 Tablspoons Tamarind Water
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
50 gms Straw Mushrooms
300 ml Water

Preparation
1. Put water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Chop the lemon grass and galanga into 3cm lengths and add to the pot to make a soup base.
3. Pound the garlic and bird chillies and add into the soup.
4. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, then add to the soup and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Cut the straw mushrooms into half and add to the soup.
6. Add the fish sauce, salt, tamarind water, lemon juice, and kaffir leaves into the soup and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Serve With
Hot fragrant Rice

Spicey Chicken Bamboo Soup ( Gang Gay )

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This is a very authentic Thai recipe with a strong taste of old fish sauce. This can be off-putting to some people, old fish sauce is salted pickled fish kept for years. When it's cooked it loses some of its aroma, but uncooked it can be overwhelming. You may prefer to substitute bottled fish sauce instead of the old fish sauce, which is a distilled filtered version of old fish and has a very mild smell.

Ingredients for 2 People
200 gms Chicken Breast
150 gms Pickled Bamboo
300 ml Water
2 Tablespoons Old Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
10 gms Galanga Root
10 gms Lemon Grass
2 Spring Onions
3 Fresh Chillies
3 Dry Chillies
1-2 Sprigs of Coriander Leaves
1 Tablespoon Oil
2 Kaffir Citrus Leaves

Preparation
1. Chop the chicken breast into small pieces and put into sauce pan.
2. Chop the lemon grass, galanga, into small pieces and pound the chilli and dry chilli in a Thai mortar and add to the pan.
3. Add the old fish sauce, fish sauce, salt, and oil.
4. Turn the heat on and simmer for 1 minutes.
5. Add the water into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add the bamboo and citrus leaves and cook for a further 10 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat
8. Chop the spring onions and coriander and add to the sauce.

Serve With
Hot Sticky Rice
You eat this by taking a lump of the rice with your fingers and a piece of the chicken from the sauce and dipping the rice in the sauce liquid.

Soft Rice Mushroom Soup ( Jok Het Horm )

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This is Jok, a rice soup, made with mushrooms. It's normally cooked for a very long time so that the rice becomes mushy. However to make it easier, I've cooked it normally, and run it through a blender to break the rice grains. Fried garlic is perfect for this recipe.

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Thai Mushroom Soup ( Gang Jeut )

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This soup is suitable for vegetarians, yet it has all the food groups. The protein comes from tofu, the carbohydrate from noodles and the flavour from shitake mushrooms. It does not contain chilli, so this is one of the few Thai dishes suitable for children.

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Shrimp Sour Curry ( Kang som Gung )

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Shrimp Sour Curry is a traditional food of Central & Southern Thailand. Think of it as curried soup. Although the ingredients are the same for the two refions, the south of Thailand variation tastes more spicy because they add more dry chilli during cooking. The Central Thailand version is closer to sweet and sour soup and is the one given here. This is medium hot.

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Spicy Bamboo Salad (Soup Nah Mi)

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This dish is a typical Thai style salad, consisting of bamboo, chilli, and mint and finished off with pan roasted peanuts. It is made with a Thai mortar & pestle, the larger sized Thai mortar is needed for this you cannot make it in a small western spice mortar. For this dish you will need toasted sticky rice, an ingredient explained in the ingredients menu.

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Pork Bone Stew ( Tom Juet Gra-Dook Mu )

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This pork bone soup or stew is served with rice as a side dish. In Thailand, a large shared bowl of the soup is placed in the centre of the table and each person spoons out some potato, meat and soup onto their rice. You can also add a little flaked dry chilli when cooked to spice it up if you wish. The radish used in this soup is the large Chinese white radish (Daikon, Lo Bak) not the smaller salad radishes. If you can't obtain it, use swede or turnip instead.

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Crunchy Pork Soup ( Guoy Jub )

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This is a cinnamon soup with egg pork and salad greens, and added croutons of deep fried, very crispy, pork. It's more like a main course than a soup. A common ingredient of this soup is congealed pork blood, if you can't find it, you can either use blood sausage or omit it altogether. In Thailand you will usually be offered all the ingredients, including the blood, however you can reduce the ingredients down to the minimum as long as you keep the main flavours, crunchy pork, egg and cinnamon.

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Grilled Pounded Mushroom Soup ( Soup Hed )

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What's you're favorite fresh mushroom? If your answer is 'white cap mushrooms', then please move on to the next recipe - this recipe isn't for you! This is a soup made from fresh flavour mushrooms, that are toasted, then pounded in a Thai mortar to bring out the flavours, and is usually eaten with sticky rice. I used rovellons, they have a soft texture that firms up when toasted, making them ideal.

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Isan Egg Soup ( Au Kia )

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This egg soup is a traditional dish from the Isan province. The main part is egg, but the taste is of spicy fish sauce. This is peasant food, a cheap dish eaten by farmers and labourers, rather than a show dish.

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Pork Parcel Soup ( Giew Nam )

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The pork parcels in this soup give it a much more substantial bulk than a regular soup. More like a main course, indeed that's how we eat it, as a main course in its own right. You can buy pork parcel ready made from Asian supermarkets and keep them frozen until needed if you don't wish to make them. Alternatively you can make a big batch and use them as needed, this is what I do.
Pickled garlic water is the pickling juice used to pickle garlic, it adds a sour taste and strong garlic scent. If you do not have pickled garlic to hand, use a dash of vinegar.

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Thai Truffle Soup ( Gang Hed Pop )

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I've made Gang Hed before. The Thai spicy mushroom soup eaten as a side to rice. Well since Thai Truffles are in season, I'm going to make the Thai Truffle version of this soup.
Serve this with rice, the soup is spooned over the rice and eaten since the truffle is too strong a flavour to eat separately.

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About Soups

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Appon's Thai Food Recipes in the Soups category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Snacks is the previous category.

Starters is the next category.

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