Recipes for Change: Gaeng Nor Mai Som | Lao soured bamboo soup

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Recipes for Change: Gaeng Nor Mai Som (Lao soured bamboo soup)

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Chef Saeng's Gaeng Nor Mai Som, a hearty and delicious Lao sour bamboo soup, takes us on a flavourful journey into the heart of Southeast Asia. This dish, featuring sour bamboo shoots, has the power to transport your senses to the enchanting Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Beyond its culinary appeal, Gaeng Nor Mai Som is also known for its soothing properties, helping to relieve stomach pain and discomfort.

This dish combines catfish, an excellent source of protein, with sour bamboo shoots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and lemon basil leaves. It’s also full of vitamin B1 and B2 and serves as a delicious reminder that we can all play a part in creating a more sustainable future through the food choices we make.

Soup ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 stalks of lemongrass, outer stalk
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 pound of catfish, cut into nuggets
  • ¼ tablespoon of salt
  • ½ tsp of MSG
  • 3 stalks green onions, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 cup of sour bamboo shoots, drained and sliced
  • 1-½ tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 handful of lemon basil leaves (or holy basil)

Paste ingredients

  • 2 fresh bird’s eye chilis, destemmed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, inside soft part chopped
  1. Use a mortar and pestle to pulverize the bird’s eye chilis, garlic, shallots, and lemongrass into a paste.
  2. Add some cooking oil into a pot and add the lemongrass bundle, lime leaves, and paste. Mix the aromatics for 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. Add in the water, catfish, salt, MSG and stir. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Add the green onions and cherry tomatoes and low simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Add the soured bamboo and simmer for another 5 minutes
  6. Add fish sauce to taste and then add basil.
  7. Serve with sticky rice