Seeking Thai Po Tak Recipe
May 01st, 2008 13 Comments

Seeking Thai Po Tak Recipe

Po Tak

I am looking for the recipe of Po Tak, a sour and spicy Thai seafood soup.

I had this slurpylicious Po Tak at “Spice I Am” at Surry Hills, a very popular Thai restaurant in Sydney. (I highly recommend this restaurant for authentic Thai food.) Po Tak tastes different compared to Tom Yum Goong; it comes in a clear soup and loaded with seafood and lemongrass. It reminds me of a Nyonya soup dish that my mother used to make–”khong assam,” a tamarind-infused soup with fish…

Anyway, I am craving for sour and spicy food lately due to my bland palate; if you have a great Po Tak recipe and know how to make Po Tak from scratch, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

Spice I am
90 Wentworth Ave
Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Tel: +61 2 928 00 928

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13 comments... read them below or add one

  1. cee says:

    From what I understand, you follow the same recipe for a clear Tom Yum, add a bit more khaa (galangal) to counter the fishiness, and skip the cilantro (but add the root when you boil the herbs at the beginning)

    At the end instead of adding cilantro you add bai gaprao, or holy basil (not thai basil).

    So essentially follow this recipe:
    Tom Yum Goong
    But skip the tomato, mushrooms, chili paste, milk and coriander/cilantro. Instead use the basil and maybe double or triple the galangal. Oh, and it’s mixed seafood, so add some fish and squid and maybe crab or whatever else you want.

    Bo is a type of fishing trap and Taek means to break, so this soup has a cute name which translates to “Broken Fishing Trap”. Essentially whatever seafood you have. :)

  2. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Cee – thanks so much for your comment and recipe! Will try it out. Seems simple enough.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think I have this at a Thai restaurant before…it has a stronger galangal and more sour taste compared to Tomyum. An appetising soup I must say.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi…should have contacted me when you were in sydney, then we can go to makan tour.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have had this loads on the streets of Bangkok. Its usually served in a small steamboat, and the recipe varies a lot from vendor to vendor, while it is usually sour. You choose the little tidbits of fish you want to go in, maybe a prawn or two, some squid aswell as little fish, or slivers of fish. Bo refers to a freshwater fishing net used in rivers, perhaps there is more to this dish than at first might seem apparent. Also cee Ive never heard of someone putting milk into a tom yum goong, coconut or otherwise.

  6. Br. David says:

    OK, then does anyone know how to make Tom Kloong?

  7. Sharon says:

    Unfortunately, i’ve never been lucky enough to try this soup. I’ll have to ask a local restaurant if they’ll whip it up on special order. It looks great!

  8. Kenny Mah says:

    No recipes from this cooking dummy, I’m afraid, but you’ve just whetted my appetite … I’m doing going Thai later for lunch! ;)

  9. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Anonymous – actually I had a tom yum goong with evaporated milk right at “Spice I Am” – the same restaurant I had this Po Tak. I must say that I didn’t like the taste, it makes it rather weird (maybe I am not used to it). I have tried Tom Yum Goong in Thailand and never come across the evaporated milk version, I wonder if there are some regional variations.

  10. cee says:

    There are a million ways in Thailand of making tom yum (in fact this soup is a variety – the full name is tom yum po taek).

    Regarding the milk in tom yum goong – it’s pretty common here in Bangkok to put evaporated milk (just a tad) into tom yum goong. If it was too weird for you, maybe there was too much? It should be very subtle.

    Next time you’re in Bangkok let me know – I’ll take you out for tom yum!

  11. Hamster says:

    This isnt for po tak but try this website
    It’s got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along

  12. Thip says:

    Actually, there’re many vendors in Bangkok use evaporated milk because it’s lighter than coconut milk. I made mine with coconut milk though.

  13. diva@theSugarBar says:

    i really adore thai cuisine but can’t seem to find a good thai restaurant around here. seems like i’ll just have to whip it up myself! thanks for this recipe. once again, looks great. what can i say..someone’s pretty much a kitchen genius. ;)

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