GAENG SOM (Spicy sour curry fish)

This Thai dish consists of turmeric, papaya and fish and is quite delicious!


  • 1 lb fish (any of your choice)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small green papaya, sliced
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 Hot pepper (or more)
  • 2 medium fingers of turmeric
  • Salt to taste


  1. Add turmeric, garlic, onion and hot pepper to a blender with some water (just enough to blend everything).
  2. Add the turmeric paste to a pot followed by the water and shrimp paste. Mix well to dissolve the shrimp paste.
  3. Add the sliced papaya. Bring to a boil and cook until they are almost fully cooked through.
  4. Add fish pieces. Do not stir when they are added. Let the fish cook through properly then give it a quick stir.
  5. Taste and add salt accordingly. Add lime juice and properly stir it.
  6. Serve with rice. ENJOY!


  • Substitute for shrimp paste can be anchovy paste or fish sauce (1:1 ratio)
  • Ensure the papaya is fully green. It can be cut into any size pieces and shapes you like.
  • Avoid stirring the fish when you add it to the pot. This is to ensure there isn’t a fishy taste in the finished dish.
  • You can use any fish you like. I used fillet but you can use fish slices as well.
  • The dish is ideally supposed to have a sour but spicy taste to it so adjust the lime juice and pepper accordingly.
  • Be mindful of the turmeric and the color stains that can be left behind after using turmeric.

See video here:


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