Thai Clear Soup with Pork (Gaeng Jued)

The name of this soup may not set off fireworks of hunger – gaeng jued translates roughly into bland curry/soup – but it’s actually a very tasty soup that goes extremely well as a part of a larger Thai meal. After all, when you’ve got a table full of chili laden plates – a simple easy-to-take soup isn’t all that unwelcome!

This soup is also very easy to make, and since it requires no pre-made broth, it’s very quick as well.

Western soups generally call for you to make (or buy) stock first and then make a soup with that stock second. Interestingly, many Thai soups do not use stock. They rather use flavorful meats of seafood boiled in the water to create a soup/stock, in one step.

Thai Clear Soup (Gaeng Jued) Makes enough for about 4-6 servings

For the pork balls

  • 1 cup of ground pork
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped

For the rest

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed flat with the side of a knife
  • 2 cups of Napa cabbage, roughly chopped
  • About 1 cup of sliced carrots, julienned baby corn, or cauliflower florets. You want 1 cup in total – either of one of these vegetables, or 1 cup of a combination.
  • 1 cup of glass noodles (if they are dried, soak in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are softened)
  • 1 Tbls of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped into 1 inch segments
  • 2 cilantro sprigs, chopped roughly

Soup making instructions

  1. Mix the pork with the ½ tsp of salt, some black pepper and the 1 clove of garlic chopped. Form this pork mixture into little meatballs
  2. Heat the water in a pot on the stove. Add in the clove of garlic and bring the water to a simmer
  3. Once the water has come to a boil, add the pork, the salt, the fish sauce and the corn-carrots-cauliflower.
  4. Let this cook for 2 minutes and then add the Napa cabbage, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the cabbage is softened.
  5. Turn the heat off and add the noodles, the green onion and the cilantro. Crack a little black pepper on top and taste for seasoning.

Simple, tasty, quick and satisfying – what more could you ask for!?!

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