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) I finally found the right kind of corn to use at our neighborhood Asian supermarket, and c) I recently learned the traditional seasoning is shrimp paste and not fish sauce.

What is suam
Suma na mais is a type of Kapampangan soup made with fresh corn kernels, green vegetable leaves, flavorful meat, and thick broth.

  • Native white corn
  • Pork, chicken or shrimp
  • Spinach, chili, ampalaya or malunggay leaves
  • Fresh shrimp paste (bagoong alamang)

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.

Yellow corn has a tasty flavor but doesn’t have the viscosity of the white variety, which helps thicken the broth naturally. Fortunately, I was able to find these glutinous corn cobs pictured above, and they worked perfectly! If you live in the U.S., you can find them in the freezer section of most Asian supermarkets. If you are in the Philippines, look for mais lagkitan in the wet markets.

I also 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).

I like to add fresh spinach leaves for color and texture; feel free to use chili leaves, ampalaya leaves or malunggay (moringa) leaves if available.

How to serve Filipino fresh corn soup
This creamy corn and vegetable soup is delicious and filling and can be enjoyed on its own. It also makes a great side dish with steamed rice and your favorite fried fish or grilled meat.

Store leftovers in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Add water or broth to loosen consistency and reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until completely heated through. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.

Looking for more classic Kapampangan dishes? Try this batsui soup made with pork and macaroni!

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