My Suam na Mais Recipe (Filipino Corn Soup)

Suam na Mais Recipe

Suam na Mais

A simple but creamy and flavorful corn soup dish made with fresh white corn kernels, shrimp, and spinach leaves.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 native white corn glutinous
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • ½ pound small shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt add to taste
  • Pepper add to taste
  • 1 bunch spinach stems trimmed


  • Begin by shucking the corn cobs, removing the husks and silks. Cut the stem ends with a sharp knife.
  • In a large bowl, stand an ear of corn upright and, using a small knife, thinly cut the kernels from top to bottom. Rotate the corn after each section to access the next.
  • Scrape the sides of the cobs in a small bowl using a spoon to extract any remaining pulp and milky juice.
  • In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic, cooking until softened.
  • Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the color changes.
  • Introduce shrimp paste and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Add the cut corn and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until corn becomes translucent.
  • Pour in water and bring it to a boil, skimming off any scum that floats to the top.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until the corn kernels are tender.
  • Add the scraped corn pulp and juice, stirring to distribute. Simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until the soup thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add spinach, pushing down the leaves into the broth. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow the residual heat to wilt the spinach. Serve hot and enjoy!

Details Behind My Suam na Mais Recipe

Suam na Mais Recipe – Soups in Filipino cuisine can feature a variety of things. If you are a fan of corn, you should try suam na mais. Suam na Mais is a traditional Kapampangan soup. This savory dish features a comforting blend of corn, leafy vegetables such as moringa, bitter melon, or Malabar spinach leaves, and a choice of pork and/or shrimp. Commonly known as ginisang mais in Tagalog and sinabawang mais in the Visayan languages, this soup is a popular choice, particularly during the rainy season.

Additional Notes for My Suam na Mais Recipe

If you want to get the best results from the dish or prefer a different consistency, there are a few things to note. To thicken the broth, use native white corn called lagkitan by scraping its pulp after removing the kernels. This enhances the broth’s consistency. Alternatively, if you’re using a different type of corn, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water. Whisk it into the soup for thickening. For a creamier texture, consider using glutinous white corn or lagkitan. If these are unavailable, the cornstarch slurry method is still effective for achieving the desired broth consistency.

Similar Vegetable Soup Dishes

As stated, there are plenty of soup dishes in Filipino cuisine. While there are not many savory dishes with corn as the star, there are a variety of vegetable soups. One example of this is ginisang munggo. Ginisang munggo soup made with mung beans, vegetables, and flavorful seasonings like garlic, onions, and fish sauce. The dish can also include pork, tinapa, or dried fish for a heartier meal. Adding chicharon on top provides extra crunch. The name comes from the initial step of sautéing before adding water and beans for a flavorful soup. You can make a variation, ginisang munggo sa gata, by incorporating coconut milk.

Another great vegetable soup dish to try is law-uy. Law-uy is a term specific to a Filipino vegetable soup known as sinabawang gulay. Sinabawang gulay serves as the umbrella term for this dish in Filipino cuisine, with various regional names such as bulanglang na gulay in Batangas, sabaw na utan, law-oy, utan bisaya, or utan kamunggay in the Visayas Islands and Mindanao, and laswa in Western Visayas. Law-uy, the Bisaya term for the dish, features a mix of healthy leafy vegetables like moringa leaves, mustard greens, pepper leaves, and pechay.

Other Filipino Dishes Starring Corn

While there are not many savory Filipino dishes featuring corn, there are more sweet dishes featuring the vegetable. One example of this is ginataang mais. Ginataan, or guinataan, is a Filipino term for dishes made with coconut milk, literally translating to “done with coconut milk.” When referring to ginataang mais, it denotes a rice pudding dessert with corn. Made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, and corn kernels, also known as lugaw na mais or lelot mais in different regions, this coconut rice pudding is a popular midday or after-dinner treat.

One classic dessert featuring corn is maja blanca. Maja blanca is a dessert with a gelatin-like consistency, primarily crafted from coconut milk. It is commonly served in fiestas and during the holidays, especially Christmas, but you can enjoy it as a treat for friends and family. There are different variations of this dish including fruity maja blanca. This dessert is a fruity twist on maja blanca and is also known as Maja Jubilee. Instead of using fresh fruit, it incorporates a fruit cocktail into the mix, giving it a delightful and celebratory touch.

Other Filipino Vegetable Dishes

If you want to explore other vegetable dishes, one option to check out is ensaladang talong, which translates to eggplant salad. This dish highlights roasted eggplant as its main component, complemented by a refreshing mix of tomatoes, onions, and mangoes for added flavor. Serving as an excellent appetizer, Ensaladang Talong allows for creativity, and the toppings for the eggplant can be customized beyond the suggested ingredients.

Another option is laing. Laing is a taro leaf dish from the Bicol Region. It consists of shredded or whole taro leaves cooked with meat or seafood in thick coconut milk, flavored with spices like chili, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, and shrimp paste. Known as pinangat to locals and ginataang laing to others, this dish is commonly served as a vegetable side dish to accompany meat or fish dishes.

There are a variety of vegetables you can enjoy in Filipino cuisine and having them in a soup dish is just one of many ways to try them. If you want to explore more dishes, you can check out options like Binaki.

Suam na Mais Recipe

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