- 2 stalks stalks lemongrass, finely sliced
- 3 bird’s eye chilies, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 one-inch knob galangal , minced
- 1 pair kaffir lime leaves, midrib removed
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- fish sauce, to taste
- cooked pork belly, (as much or as little as you like) cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 to 6 cups bone broth
- 3 cup cubed squash
- 3 cup eggplant wedges
- 1 handful Thai basil leaves
- sliced scallions, to garnish
- Make a spice paste by pounding the lemongrass, chilies, garlic, galangal and kaffir lime leaves together. You can make the spice paste as smooth or as coarse as you like.
- Heat the cooking oil. Saute the spice paste over medium-low heat with a splash of fish sauce.
- When the color of the paste deepens, add the sliced shallots. Continue sautéing for a minute.
- Add the pork to the pan. Stir to coat the meat with the spice paste.
- Pour in the broth. Season with more fish sauce. Bring to the boil.
- Add the squash. Allow the liquid to boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for five minutes.
- Throw in the eggplant wedges and the Thai basil leaves. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce, if needed.
- Simmer for another seven to ten minutes until both the eggplants and squash are tender.
- Sprinkle in the scallions.
- Serve your gaeng om immediately.
I appreciated this Zen description from my host, A-Nong: “It’s not really a soup and it’s not really a curry… it’s om.” Gaeng om is often eaten in concert with larb or grilled meats as a cleansing herbal tonic.Updated from a recipe originally published in August 28, 2014 based on a recipe from Joy’s Thai Food.
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