Gaeng Kai Mod Daeng Phak Wan (Ant Eggs Curry with Star Gooseberry)

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This is a seasonal dish, originally eaten during summer when vegetables and water were in short supply and only phak wan pa, a local vegetable, and ant eggs could be found. Over the years it has become a favorite with many people and is now eaten even when there isn't a short supply of food.


Phak wan can be cooked in various dishes. Phak wan is full of protein, vitamin C and beta carotene, which is good for eyesight and provides antioxidants. It also contains significant amounts of calcium, phosphorus and dietary fiber. The ant eggs are higher in protein than chicken eggs and are lower in fat and cholesterol.


200 grams phak wan pa (Melientha suavis)
1 cup ant eggs
½ cup hairy basil leaves
2 tbsp pla-ra (pickled fish)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup water
5 each shredded kaffir lime leaves
2 cups water

Ingredients for curry paste
5 each dried or fresh chilies
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
3 each red shallots
1 tsp salt


1. Clean vegetables and ant eggs, drain and set aside.
2. Pound all of the ingredients for curry paste until well blended and a paste is formed.
3. Boil the water in a pot over medium heat, add the curry paste, phak wan and ant eggs.
4. Season with pla-ra and fish sauce. Add the hairy basil. Remove from the heat. Serve in a bowl.