International Recipes

Kaeng Som Kai Wan
(Sweet and Sour Chicken Soup)

This is a variant of kaeng som, which is a popular fish soup that is quite common in Thailand. Keang som is quite sour, and this dish has been given a degree of sweetness in keeping with making it from chicken.

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  • About 1 1/2 pound chicken, skinned, filleted, and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly ground
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons krachai (lesser ginger), thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons mixed red and green prik chi fa (jalapeños), thinly sliced or julienned
  • 1 teaspoon kapi (shrimp paste)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup tamarind juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons palm sugar (to taste)
  • 2 cups very coarsely chopped green vegetables
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (preferably fresh, not tinned)


  1. Prepare the chicken and then add three tablespoons of sesame oil and one tablespoon of freshly ground ginger, mix, and leave to marinade or one hour.
  2. Heat a wok, and then stir fry the chicken in the marinade until it just starts to change color.
  3. Heat the stock to simmering point, and add all the ingredients except the chicken and pineapple, and return it to the boil.
  4. Add the chicken, and the marinade and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Add the pineapple, bring to the boil and then serve.


This dish can be eaten as a soup course, but as I have remarked before in Thailand soups are normally eaten with the other dishes of the dinner, rather than before them. Therefore you should use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and serve it in individual bowls to the diners, the soup liquor is then placed in a large serving bowl, from where they can help themselves (you can use a fire pot or fondue cooker to keep it hot if you wish).

If you can't find krachai (lesser ginger) then use ordinary ginger.

This can also be prepared as a stir fry still dish (whence it becomes pad som kai wan) by simply omitting the chicken stock. (If it is a little dry, then add a couple of tablespoons of stock to the wok.)


Posted by WingsFan91 at Recipe Goldmine 11/14/2001 7:09 pm.

Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.

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