Southern Thai Gaeng Som Recipe (Sour Spicy Curry วิธีทำ แกงส้ม)

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Read the full recipe for southern Thai gaeng som here:

There’s a dish in Thailand called gaeng som (and in English it’s also sometimes spelled kaeng som, though I think the first letter sounds a bit more like a g then a k แกงส้ม). Anyway, if can refer to a number of different styles of sour curry / soup. The central Thai version of gaeng som (แกงส้ม) is red in color and has a very sweet and sour flavor. But we’ll be making the recipes for southern Thai style gaeng som, which is not sweet at all, orange and yellow in color, and known for being spicy and full of turmeric. In Bangkok, southern Thai gaeng som is often referred to as gaeng leung (yellow curry), but in southern Thailand they just called it gaeng som (แกงส้ม).

Why is it a curry and not a soup? Although it may look like what we typically call a soup in English, the reason it is technically a curry is because it gets its flavor from a paste instead of just boiling herbs or stock to make an infusion – that would be a soup.

This Thai gaeng som recipe is actually quite easy to make, and when I’m at home in Thailand, my mother in law makes it for me at least a couple of times a week. I like it so much because it’s very healthy, has a powerful spicy and sour flavor, and we always have the ingredients for this dish at our house.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and more photos over on my Thai food blog at, but also, I’ve listed the ingredients you’ll need for this authentic Thai recipe below.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

This is for the soup part of the recipe:
1 fish – 600 grams (ปลากระพง)
1.5 – 2 litres water (น้ำเปล่า)
1 green papaya – 700 grams (มะละกอดิบ)
1 tbsp salt to taste (เกลือ)
1 tbsp shrimp paste (กะปิ)
10 – 15 tbsp lime juice – I used about 20 limes in total (น้ำมะนาว)

And for the curry paste part of the recipe:
1 head garlic (กระเทียม)
20 grams turmeric (2 – 3 fingers (ขมิ้น)
60 grams white bird’s eye chilis, in Thai prik kee noo khao – I counted about 100 chilies (พริกขี้หนูขาว)
2 shallots (หอมแดง)

After making the curry paste, you then boil it with water, throw in the green papaya, the fish, and then finally season it with salt and lime juice. Make sure you turn off the curry of the soup completely before you add in the lime juice – if you don’t the lime juice won’t be very sour, and it will turn bitter.

That’s all there is to cooking this Thai sour spicy curry (วิธีทำ แกงส้ม) from southern Thailand. If you love sour and if you love spicy dishes, you’re going to love this recipe.

Music in this video is from Audio Network

This Thai recipes video was produced by Mark Wiens and Ying Wiens, for more information about us, check out our blogs: & &

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►Read the full recipe for gaeng som:


Lydia blake says:

Mark, I am curious how the papaya taste like in the dish, I noticed that you were only eating the fish and not the papaya?

hazell tennent says:

Mark, you should cook with the food ranger

Sim Mong Li Evelyn says:

Mark Weins: you are God sent. Thank You. You have made cooking Thai food so easy. Thank You once again.

Irenazreen mohd yusof says:

I have tried this version and I'm loving it so much! Thanks Mark for the fantastic recipe

periuk tembaga says:

hey mark… why did you not use nampla instead of salt?

tan Mah says:

I cooked this so many time, but tase different from what I eat at thai restorance, even I followed the receipe

jojohaldar says:

hi mark loved the video! since raw turmeric is not that easily available can we use turmeric powder??? oh and what are the other vegetables which can be used round the year??? cuz coconut shoots and papaya are seasonal

huna Kwan says:


Yatie Lion says:

aroi. i tried gaeng som while in phukhet. heavenly delicious.

newfree dom says:

at you cooking gaend som south .. but thai have gaend som thai bkk and gaend som eisan and now you cooking this gaend som south and no manow but thai like tamarind that and before fish in that sea little ..dried chilli

Ratana1110 says:

make Thai omelette to eat with this,,,we called Khai-jiew and chai poh pad khai too..ei ei

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