Gaeng Om Kai (Isan style chicken and pumpkin stew)

Gaeng Om Kai (Isan style chicken and pumpkin stew)

Gaeng Om, an herbal curry stew from northeastern Thailand, is not your typical Thai curry. It is a refreshing Isan-style chicken curry loaded with lots of vegetables.


  • 200 g chicken thigh

  • 150 g pumpkin

  • 2 pisces dried chilies

  • 35 g or 3 small size of shallots

  • 1 stalk lemongrass

  • A handful spring onion

  • A handful dill

  • A handful hairy basil leaves

  • ½ tsp monosodium glutamate 

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp Thai toasted sticky rice powder

  • 1 tbsp fermented fish liquid

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

  • 250 ml water


  1. Chicken thigh cut into bite-sized pieces

  2. Pumpkin, peeled, cut into bite-sized cubes.

  3. Lemongrass cut into small pieces.

  4. Spring onion and dill cut into 1.5-inch pieces.

  5. Hairy basil plucks only the leaves.

PREP TIME : 10minutes

COOKING TIME :  15minutes

YIELD : 1 person


Gaeng Om Kai (Isan style chicken and pumpkin stew)


  1. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the lemongrass, dried chilies, and shallot to paste. Then scoop them into a pot. Add the chicken into it and put over medium heat.

  2. Stir until the exterior of the chicken turns white, add fermented fish liquid, fish sauce, salt, MSG and stir to combine then pour in the water. Cover the pot and wait until it boils. Now add the pumpkin and stir to combine then cover the pot. Cook until the pumpkin becomes soft. Add Thai toasted sticky rice powder, spring onion, dill, hairy basil leaves and stir for another minute or until the veggies cook through. 

  3. Transfer from the heat to a serving bowl. Best served with sticky rice.

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