Thai sour curry soup with fish and shrimp (Kaeng Som) is a tangy, salty and healthy soup. This sour curry soup is popular in Southern Thailand, where the seafood is abundant and fresh. It's not only tasty but a healthy soup of nutritious ingredients.
Curry paste ingredients
- 1/2 cup shallot, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped small
- 1 oz Krachai, chopped small.
- Dry chilis 8-15. Adjust as needed for spiciness. Remove seeds and soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Or microwave for 3 minutes with water, and let sit to soften
- 8 -10 oz fish. You can cut it into bite-size pieces or leave them in large fillets. I like my fish in large pieces better as they don't fall apart easily in the soup when cooking.
- 1 pound large raw shrimp, shells, heads, and tails on. If using shrimp with no heads or shells, use only 12 oz
- 5 cups water or stock
- 2 cups napa cabbage, sliced into large, 3-4 inches pieces
- 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1/3 cup tamarind
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Make the stock. Remove shrimp heads and shells, and leave the tails on. Place in a stock pot and leave the rest of the shrimp for later. Add 6 cups of water to the stock pot with shrimp heads and shells, boil on medium heat, then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Drain the shrimp stock and discard the shells and heads. You should have a bright orange stock for making soup.
- Make the paste. Add shallot, garlic, Krachai, and shrimp paste to a small food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the mixture and blitz until a paste forms.
- Add half of the fish and 3-4 pieces of the large shrimp to the stock to do a quick boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the fish is soft. Remove with a wire mesh strainer and add the cooked fish and shrimp to a food processor. Blitz the fish and shrimp with the paste mixture, and add 2 tablespoons of stock water to help turn the blades. Set aside.
- Add 5 cups of stock back into the pot, and bring to a gentle boil on medium heat. Add the paste to the stock pot, stir and mix well.
- Add napa cabbage and green beans, fish sauce, and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Add the rest of the fish and shrimp and cook for only 2 minutes.
- Add the tamarind sauce and lime juice to get the sour flavor. Turn the heat off and adjust with more tamarind juice, fish sauce, or salt. Done! Scoop into a serving bowl with rice and enjoy! The soup is best when it’s served hot.
- This Thai soup is best when fresh. The fish meat and shrimp will fall apart easily if served as leftovers the next day.
- You can use just fish or shrimp if desired.
- If using smaller shrimp with no shells and heads, use less. Rather than using 1 pound of small shrimp, use only 12 oz.
- Use any other stock instead if you don’t want to make the shrimp stock.
- The best fish for this recipe is firm white fish like cod, tilapia, or sea bass.
- Skip the fish and shrimp and add more vegetables of your choice. Fresh vegetables for this soup are cabbage, kale, bok choy, green papaya, daikon, zucchini, onions, and bell peppers.
- Make it spicy by adding jalapeños and hot Thai peppers.
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- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: Curry
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Kaeng som recipe, Thai sour soup fish recipe, thai orange sour soup recipe, Kaeng som pla recipe, thai sour curry soup