Thailand Food Exploration: Gaeng Jued Tam Luang

Having rashly quit our jobs and sold our house recently, my boyfriend and I are now spending a few months outside the UK, our first stop being Thailand.

My boyfriend’s dad has retired here and is married to a Thai lady, which makes all food experiences much easier and more varied. They are based near Pattaya, which is notorious for many things, but has a lot of excellent places to eat for all budgets.

On our first morning, feeling a little jet-lagged, we picked up some drinks at a small coffee shop. I opted for a Lychee Blitz, which is a fruit and ice blend, although I suspect it included some syrup as it was sweet and had a pink tinge to it. We returned to the car for a brief trip onwards to a small road-side restaurant, bringing our drinks with us.

Our hosts outlined a few of the more popular dishes, and we plumped for the “gaeng jued tam luang” (phonetic representation!) which I was advised translates as “bland soup with coccinia grandis leaf”.

bland soup with coccinia grandis leaf

That is an unfairly unappetising name for what was a very pleasant breakfast. It comprised a large bowl of clear broth, with a lot of minced pork, some spring onion, coriander and the coccinia grandis leaves (ivy gourd, according to Wikipedia). A bowl of rice on the side could be mixed in as desired. This cost less than £1, with the drink similarly priced. A very good bargain I felt.

The previous night we had a tasty dinner which I completed neglected to photograph. However in the interests of sharing knowledge, it included “kai jeaw muu sab” (omelette with minced pork and spring onion – very nice and crispy), “kai phad khing” (fried ginger with chicken – quite light and fresh), “phaa toad krateim pric Thai” (deep-fried red snapper fish with garlic and pepper – the lack of batter made it supremely non-greasy and it was delicious!) and the perhaps more familiar “tom yum kai” (hot and spicy chicken soup). Various fruit shakes rounded things out.

We even managed to fit in a few Thai snacks, but hopefully we will be encountering these again and I can give more info then.

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