If you live in Thailand or are a frequent visitor, you will no doubt have fallen in love with Thai food. The vast array of herbs and spices that are used along with fresh meats, fish and vegetable make it a relatively healthy and tasty option. Most of us will have tried the curries, the barbeque dishes and the common Thai foods that we may even be familiar with in our “home” countries, but sometimes the soups, rather surprisingly, get left. Here are some that you may be familiar with.
Tom Yam (sometimes pronounced or spelt Yum) is probably the best known of the Thai soups. The basic soup contains lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, garlic, chilli, lime, fish sauce and sometimes tamarind. A variety of meats or seafood is added such as chicken, pork, fish or prawn. Generally, this is quite spicy although it can easily be toned down to suit your taste buds!
Tom Ka is very similar to Tom Yam but has the added ingredient of coconut milk which makes it far milder and creamier. It is a slightly thicker soup and therefore more filling and once again contains meats or seafood. It is a popular dish which is available in most Thai restaurants and is relatively inexpensive.
Khao Tom is effectively “rice soup” and is a thick soup comprising of mainly boiled rice. It is often served to people with stomach upsets so is therefore very mild. It generally includes chopped spring onion, coriander and seasoned with fish sauce. Meats can be added; most frequently this is minced pork although, like many Thai dishes, there are no hard and fast rules.
Tom Sum Kradock Moo
Tom Sum Kradock Moo is an Isaan soup which can be quite popular in Pattaya. It is quite a light broth that is flavoured with lime and tamarind. “Kradock Moo” is pork ribs which are the most common way which the soup is served. It often contains leftover vegetables with chillies and garlic added depending on taste. It is a dish which is often prepared to save wasting food.
Another of the Isaan dishes which is probably less well-known so included on our list for variety. It is a hot and sour soup which has a consistency similar to that of stew. It usually contains stewed meats – chicken, pork or beef and is filled with fresh vegetables, herbs and spices with rice often included. Large quantities of lime juice and chillies are added just before serving to give it its hot and sour taste.
Various Noodle Soups
There are various types of noodle soup, too many to mention individually. They contain a variety of different kinds of noodles from vermicelli to glass noodles to thick noodles and pretty much anything