ต้มผักกาดดอง Preserved Sour green Mustard broth
You can vary the ingredients according to taste
Pickled sour mustard greens 500 grams
Porkribs and belly pork 250 grams
Light soya sauce (3tbspn) or stock cube
Garlic cloves (5 cloves - optional)
Ground peppercorns (1 tbspn)
Sugar to taste(about 1 tbspn)
water (2 liters)
Methods of Preparation;
Tom Pak Gaad is very easy to make - the simplest methos uses just mustard green, light soya sauce, pork, sugar and water. The second variation uses stock cube, garlic and peppercorns too.
The Mustard Green; You can either buy this on the fresh markets where you will find it in plastic tubs (called "Galamang" - กะละมัง in Thai), or you can buy the more hygienic looking one packed in factory sealed plastic bags as seen in the below pic.
Don't take any notice of the lemons on the side of the tray - they were used for another purpose (to make Nam Prik). Once you have cleaned the mustard green you can slice it into shreds.
In this recipe we will use both hmoo sam chan (belly pork), AND see krong (ribs); Arrange them in preparation for cooking.
Remember that the garlic and pepper in the previous pic or the onion in the above pic are optional - use them if you wish, or not if you don't wish to. I personally like to add the garlic and the pepper, but not the onion. Add the garlic and pepper at the same time as the pork meat if you wish to use these ingredients.
Bring the water to boil in a pan (add a stock cube if you wish to, if not then use three tablespoons of light soya sauce), and simmer the pork ribs first on a medium flame, until the meat becomes tight around the bone.
Whilst the meat is simmering, a froth will gather on the surface; clean this off with a skillet or spoon, as it doesn't look nice and will also make the soup bitter. Once the pork meat is cooked and tender, add the sour pickled mustard greens
Simmer for a while and taste the broth - it should be nice and salty, with a slightly oily film from the pork fat and the ribs, and have a slight sweetness too - now would be time to add a little sugar if needed.
Some people like to add some bacon meat to this dish whilst cooking (recommended) .
Now you can serve it. This soup is often used as a mild accompaniment to dry fried spicy dishes as a cooling agent and to balance out the dryness of fried food on rice.
If you have a hangover and can't taste your food it is a great remedy; the sourness and saltiness will give you a real zing on your tongue, and bring back your appetite. The sourness will help to get rid of the headache due to dehydration. The Chinese in Singapore and malaysia have a very similar dish to this called "Bakuteh" The origins of Tom Pak Gaad actually come from Thai Chinese too. This is the reason for its non spiciness, as Thai Chinese food is milder than Thai food in general. I hope to soon publish some more less spicy Thai Food recipes for those who wish to enjoy Thai food but cannot withstand the chilli.
Image source; nangkatik-club.com
Notes; Pak Gaad refers to many kinds of cabbage or lettuce, such as; Pak Gaad Khaw ( ผักกาดขาวChinese white cabbage), Pak Gaad Khaw Plee ( ผักกาดขาวปลี Pak Choi), Pak Gaad Khiaw Gwang Dtung ( ผักกาดกวางตุ้ง a sweet spinachy cabbage) and Pak Gaad Farang ( ผักกาดฝรั่ง lettuce)