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Kaeng Som Bai Chakhram

Sour Swet Spicy Soup and Chakhram


Kaeng Som is a sour-sweet-slightly spicy soup in orange colour. It is one of popular Thai dishes that is cooked in various styles throughout the country. The main ingredients are kaeng som chilli paste, vegetables and meat which tends to be pawns or fish.

Choices of vegetables in the dish are not limited to common green leaves like cabbage or morning glory. Sometimes locals can add other vegetables to create special texture and taste like dok khae (agasta flowers) and dok khachon (cowslip creeper flowers). But in Samut Songkhram, locals make their kaeng som with another choice of vegetable-bai chakhram.

The small green succulent leaves are taken from herbaceous seepweed or sea blite. It is an annual, herb-like plant that is native to the coastal areas like Samut Songkhram. The weed thrives in salt marshes so its leaves contain saltiness. Locals will harvest only young shoots for cooking.

The popular dish is kaeng som pu khai bai chakhram (the sour and spicy orange soup with a crab carrying roe as well as sea blite leaves). The secret recipe is to parboil sea blite leaves and squeeze the liquid from the leaves to take out some saltiness before cooking.

The dish is available in popular restaurants in Khlong Khon area such as Gasorn Khlong Khon, Daeng Seafood, Khura Ta Nui and Thaworn Seafood and Homestay.


How to get there: From Bangkok, take Highway No 35 to Samut Songkhram.