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Kaeng Som with Cod Roes (แกงส้มไข่ปลาค็อด)

Today's recipe is Kaeng Som (แกงส้ม), a low fat curry recipe to warm  your heart without expanding your waist line. Kaeng Som is a quick and simple curry but high in flavors. The most tedious part is making curry paste and if you are unfamiliar with grinding spices with pestle and mortar, it maybe challenging (but of course you can use a food processor).      

Kaeng Som means sour curry in Thai. It is made with assortment of vegetable cooked in curry soup with some fish or shrimp. Kaeng Som is a staple to many people in Thailand. The reason is very simple. There is nothing not to like about this Kaeng Som. It is utterly delicious, healthy, easy to make and very appetizing. You can cook it the day before, and it would taste just as good or even better the second day.

In my childhood days, I used to watch my mother preparing this dish. While my mother made curry paste, my brother would help cutting many types of vegetables : lotus stems (สายบัว), vegetable hummingbird(ดอกแค), drumstick pods(มะรุม), Acacia shoots (ชะอม). Many of these vegetable are grown in our garden so it was just a matter of harvesting them from the garden. However some of these exotic vegetable are almost impossible to find in Tokyo, so I have improvised my recipe to make it more accessible to you. A trip to local Asian supermarket will enable you to gather all the ingredient needed for the dish.

Below is my Keang Som with Cod Roes recipe.  

100 grams cod roes 
200 grams carrots, cut into bite size pieces 
30 grams long beans, cut into bite size pieces 
300 grams Napa cabbage, cut into bite size pieces
150 cc. tamarind concentrate 
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3 + 1/4 tablespoon palm sugar 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
850 cc. water 
for the curry paste 
15 dried red chili peppers, soaked in warm water until soft
4 shallots 
1/2 tablespoon Thai shrimp paste 
1 Japanese Horse Mackerel (200 grams) 
1. Steam Japanese Horse Mackerel over high heat until is done. Let cool, then remove head, skin and bone, set aside.
2. With pestle and mortar, pound Thai shrimp paste, shallot and dried red chili peppers into paste. Add in Japanese Horse Mackerel's meat to the paste, mix well. 
3. Bring water to the boil, then add in Kaeng Som paste with cooked Aji meat added. 

4. Add in vegetables, cook until are done. Then add in cod roes, when it is done, remove from heat.
5. Let sit overnight for the taste to incorporate and grow. Reheat and serve hot with steamed rice. 

PS. Not traditional but Japanese Horse Mackerel and Cod roes are most convenient ingredients to find in Japan Market. 


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