Tohmkagai or Gaitohmka
A Thai soup dish through the eyes of a westerner. It was love at first sight, or, in this case -at first bite. Find out what makes this soup so special and how you can make this amazing Thai dish right in your own kitchen.
Tohmkagai From a westerner's view point
Thai food is often thought of as complex in the way it strives to incorporate and balance many different components. Authentic Thai food- and by that, I mean food made in Thailand or made by Thais to the Thai taste- is not, however, always easy on the western tongue. Certain flavor combinations can be hard for us to take, although most do become beloved when we become familiar with them.
Tohmkagai can be seen as somewhat complex in its combination of flavors, but in no way is it hard on the palette. When I first tasted this wonderful dish I was literally blown away. It reminded me of the creamy soups I had grown up with- think Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken- but that is just the beginning of the experience. It also has other flavors- ones which I would have never before considered as complementary to a cream soup- that make it the amazing dish it is. With just the perfect amount of tartness (that is, not much- but enough that you know it's there) and savory goodness, in the end its resemblance to your childhood soups (which are often much too salty and lacking depth) is only on the surface.
Not only that, but each and every time I have tohmkagai is like the first time: I am instantly in love again. It is a taste you, too, will not only never forget, but also one which never loses its appeal. This dish is no one-hit wonder! Everyone I know- Thai and non-Thai alike- will gladly accept tohmkagai when it is offered, for it is one of the most delicious foods one can ever have.
Ralph Schatzki is more than a husband. What makes his opinion valid when it comes to Thai food is, he transformed himself into a Thai for the last 26 years, lived in Thailand as an American ex patriate for 13 years, and owns a fierce sense of Thai taste when it comes to knowing his Thai food. Some quasi "Thai" dishes in some Thai restaurants do not get past him easily.