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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
- 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
- Heat the water in a pot on the stove. Add in the clove of garlic and bring the water to a simmer
- Once the water has come to a boil, add the pork, the salt, the fish sauce and the corn-carrots-cauliflower.
- Let this cook for 2 minutes and then add the Napa cabbage, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the cabbage is softened.
- 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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