Gaeng Kai Nor-Mai Som (Chicken Curry with Bamboo Shoots)

Facebook Addthis

Northeastern soup is often a spicy dish filled with vegetables that is also salty and/or sour and sometimes bitter. Pla-ra (pickled fish) is a staple seasoning. This sour soup with chicken and bamboo shoots is a favorite dish. It is made with pickled bamboo shoots, a local way of preservation that insures vegetables during periods of food shortage.


Chicken is a source of protein. Although the pickled bamboo shoots lose some vitamins and minerals during the preservation process, they are full of dietary fiber which is good for the excretory system and helps to release toxins from the body.


500 grams free-range chicken
300 grams pickled bamboo shoots
10 each kaffir lime leaves
½ cup pla-ra (pickled fish)
10 stalks hairy basil leaves
5 each spring onions, cut into 2 – inch pieces
2 cups water

Ingredients for curry paste
5 pieces sliced galangal
3 stalks lemongrass, lower tender portions
10 each dried chilies
5 – 7 each red shallots
10 each garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp. salt


1. Pound all of the ingredients for curry paste until they become a paste.
2. Clean the chicken and chop into bite size pieces, bones included. Soak the pickled bamboo shoots and squeeze the water out, set aside.
3. Boil the water in a pot over high heat. Add the curry paste, chicken and pickled bamboo shoots. Let it boil again.
4. Gradually season to taste with pla-ra. Add the kaffir lime leaves, hairy basil leaves and spring onion. Remove from the heat. Serve in a bowl.