A Flavorful Filipino Corn Soup
Introduction: Suam na Mais is a delightful Filipino corn soup that combines the natural sweetness of corn kernels with succulent shrimp and tender pork slices. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer or a main dish paired with steamed rice, this comforting soup is a beloved Filipino classic. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of preparing this delectable soup and share tips to enhance its flavors. Let’s dive into the delightful world of Suam na Mais!
The Essence of Suam na Mais:
Suam na Mais, meaning “soupy corn,” showcases the flavors of the Philippines in every spoonful. Traditionally, white corn is used due to its delicate texture and mild taste, but feel free to use yellow corn as an alternative. This soup can be savored as a stand-alone dish or served with steamed rice for a complete meal.
Savoring the Ingredients:
- Corn: Opt for fresh corn kernels if available, but canned corn can also be used. The natural sweetness of the corn adds depth to the soup.
- Pork and Shrimp: The combination of pork slices and succulent shrimp lends a delightful contrast of flavors and textures to the soup.
- Ampalaya Leaves: These bitter melon leaves, known for their health benefits, add a hint of bitterness that balances the sweetness of the corn.
Step-by-Step Guide to Suam na Mais:
a. Sautéing Aromatics: Heat some cooking oil in a medium-sized pan and sauté the fragrant garlic until golden brown. Add chopped onions and continue sautéing until they turn soft and translucent.
b. Adding Pork and Shrimp: Introduce the pork and shrimp into the pan and sauté until they acquire a slight brown color, infusing the soup with their savory essence.
c. Infusing the Broth: Pour in the shrimp broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Allow the broth to simmer until the pork becomes tender, releasing its rich flavors into the soup.
d. Corn and Simmering: Add the corn kernels to the simmering broth and allow them to cook until tender. The natural sweetness of the corn will infuse the soup with its delightful taste.
e. Adding Ampalaya Leaves: Introduce the ampalaya leaves into the pot, simmer for another minute to retain their freshness, and infuse the soup with a subtle bitterness.
f. Ready to Serve: Remove the pot from heat and serve the hot Suam na Mais, ready to be savored and enjoyed.
Enhancing the Flavors:
- Ginger Twist: For an added zing, incorporate grated ginger during the sautéing process. Ginger imparts a delightful warmth and depth to the soup.
- Seafood Variations: Experiment with different seafood options such as fish or crab to create exciting flavor combinations and cater to personal preferences.
- Seasoning to Taste: Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, striking the perfect balance between savory, sweet, and bitter flavors.
Suam na Mais is a heartwarming Filipino corn soup that combines the natural sweetness of corn with succulent shrimp and tender pork. This delightful dish can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a main course accompanied by steamed rice. By following our step-by-step guide and incorporating flavor-enhancing tips, you can create a bowl of Suam na Mais that will tantalize your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant culinary world of the Philippines. Indulge in this comforting soup and savor the flavors of Filipino cuisine.
How to Cook Suam na Mais (Filipino Corn Soup)
- 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 tsp. garlic minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 cup pork sliced
- 1/2 cup shrimps shelled
- 4 cups shrimp broth
- 1 cup uncooked white corn shredded
- 1 cup ampalaya or bitter melon leaves
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
How to cook Suam na Mais:
- In a medium size pan, heat cooking oil and saute garlic until fragrant.
- Add chopped onions and saute until soft.
- Add in pork and shrimps and saute until slightly brown.
- Add shrimp broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until pork is tender.
- Put in the corn and simmer until corn is cooked.
- Add in the ampalaya leaves, simmer for another minute then serve hot.
Cooking Tips for Suam na Mais:
- Use Fresh Corn Whenever Possible: To truly elevate the flavors of your Suam na Mais, opt for fresh corn kernels instead of canned corn. The natural sweetness and tender texture of fresh corn will enhance the overall taste and provide a more authentic experience. However, if fresh corn is not available, canned corn can still be used to prepare a delicious Suam na Mais.
- Add Ginger for a Flavor Boost: For an extra layer of depth and warmth in your Suam na Mais, consider adding grated ginger during the sautéing process. Ginger adds a subtle kick and aromatic notes that complement the sweetness of the corn and the savory elements of the dish. Experiment with the amount of ginger according to your preference to find the perfect balance of flavors.
- Don't Overcook the Corn: When simmering the corn kernels in the broth, be mindful not to overcook them. Corn can become mushy and lose its natural sweetness if overcooked. Aim for a tender yet slightly crisp texture that allows the corn to retain its inherent sweetness and adds a pleasant bite to the soup. Regularly check the corn's doneness and remove the pot from heat promptly to avoid overcooking.