Lao Style Mushroom Soup

Lao style mushroom soup

Gang Hed

Serves 2-4 Cooks in 20 minutes Difficulty Easy

This mushroom soup is popular in the North East of Thailand where food and language mix with that of neighbouring Laos.

There’s also some Chinese tradition thrown into the mix too, where it is believed eating five different types of mushroom in a meal promotes a longer life.

I’ve left my recipe for this Lao style mushroom soup, or gang hed as we call it here in Thailand, without specific mushrooms. You can really use whatever mushrooms you can source or fancy. It should be five different types but again three or four would be fine too.


  • 1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot
  • 5 chilli
  • Chunk of pumpkin, chopped into small pieces around 2cm long
  • 2 handfuls of mixed mushrooms
  • A handful of Cha-om leaves
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp sticky rice powder
  • 1 tsp chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fermented fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  1. Smash the lemongrass, shallot and chilli in a pestle and mortar to roughly break the ingredients.
  2. In a soup pan, boil the water and throw in this mixture. Then add the pumpkin and simmer until the pumpkin softens a little.
  3. Add the mushrooms and the chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar and simmer a few more minutes.
  4. Add the cha-om leaves, basil leaves and sticky rice powder, give a good stir and turn off the heat.

To Serve

Serve the soup directly into bowls with a side plate or bowl of steamed rice.

Hope you enjoy Gang Hed by Apple 🍎 Riverside Thai Cooking in Khao Lak.