Suam na Mais

Suam na Mais is a Filipino soup made with fresh corn kernels, shrimp, and spinach. It’s creamy, nutritious, and delicious on its own or served as a side dish.

Suam na Mais was one of the first recipes I posted on the blog in 2013. I am updating it today because a) the old photo was ugly and needed a makeover, b) The old version of the recipe uses yellow corn, as I couldn’t find native white corn. Although the soup was delicious in its own right, it lacked the thick and creamy consistency of a good suam na mais, and c) I recently learned the traditional seasoning is shrimp paste and not fish sauce.

What is suam

Suma na mais is a Kapampangan soup made of fresh native white corn, shrimp, chicken, or pork and leafy vegetables. It’s also known as ginisang mais or sinabawang mais in other regions of the country.

What you’ll need

Corn– While yellow corn has a tasty flavor, it doesn’t have the viscosity of the white variety, which helps thicken the broth naturally. If you live in the U.S., look for glutinous corn cobs in the freezer section of most Asian supermarkets. If you are in the Philippines, look for mais lagkitan in the wet markets.
Shrimp– you can also use diced pork or chicken
Raw shrimp paste– I used fish sauce in my old recipe, but I recently learned from my aunt that the traditional flavoring for this Kapampangan soup is bagok (shrimp paste).
Water- for extra depth of flavor, you can use rice washing, chicken or shrimp broth
Leafy vegetable– fresh spinach, chili leaves, ampalaya leaves, or malunggay (moringa) leaves.

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