There are quite a few different types of “gaeng” soups in Thai cooking. Today I want to show you an example of “gaeng kua”. This soup is generally regarded as being a mild one and can have tastes such as sweet, sour and salty. The dish I want to show you today is called Chicken and wax gourd curry or gaeng kua fak in Thai ( แกงคั่ว ). The vegetable fak (despite sounding like a swear word in English) is wax gourd which is sometimes also known as a winter melon. It is cucumber shaped and even has green skin and pips inside. To prepare for cooking, you need to first peel the wax gourd and then scoop out the pips. Then cut into one inch chunks. This is then added to the soup. As well as gaeng kua you can also add it to gaeng liang. When cooked, the wax gourd maintains its shape but has a rather bland flavour.
This version of gaeng kua is made with the following ingredients: wax gourd, chicken, gaeng kua paste, coconut cream, coconut milk, red spur chili, kaffir lime leaves, and seasoned with palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind juice. Heat the coconut cream in a pan and then fry the chili paste until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook until nearly done. Pour in the coconut milk and then add the wax gourd chunks and continue cooking until done. Season the soup and then just before serving add the torn kaffir lime leaves and red chili. Another fine dish though I must admit not one of my favourites. It just makes a nice change.