In honesty I am not a big soup fan and if I had the choice between juicy steaks or barbecued meats I’d likely never eat soup again. Fanfan on the other hand is obsessed with soups in particular the Thai Hot Pot (Jim Jum). It is easily in her favourite of mall foods often beating her favourite Ramen Noodles and Korean Barbecues. For those new to Jim Jum it is like a fiery Thai interpretation of the more famous Chinese Hot Pot.
It is a soup originating from the Isaan area of northeast Thailand. Jim Jum unlike other Hot Pots boasts a uniquely Thai-infused broth of shallot, Lemongrass, chilli, Sweet Basil and Garlic. The rest it is up to you. Customers pick, choose, and prepare their own favourite ingredients using a built-in hot pot at the restaurant table. Meats, veg, noodles whatever you fancy. Jim Jum is served in small soup bowls to be mixed with chilli dips and other condiments on the side.
One of the easier places to find the Jim Jum Thai Hot Pot is the franchised restaurants called Joom Zap Hut which are found at many of Bangkok and Thailand’s major malls. While other hot pots are also popular in Thailand (Chinese or Japanese Shabu style) the Jim Jum Thai Hot Pot is uniquely Thai with Hot and Sour signature tastes.
Nam Jim Sauce
The basics of Jim Jum; boil meats in soup, dip in sauce, eat. As one who isn’t overly excited by soup I make the most of the Nam Jim sauce instead; a hot, sour and tangy chilli dipping sauce. I generally avoid the soup all together and instead mix the side condiments with crispy onion, Nam Jim sauce and smother it with the meats. Not proper but tastes delicious.
Tasty Side Dishes
Joom Zap Hut offer a decent selection of snacks and side dishes to further excite the Thai Hot Pot experience. Many of these side dishes originate as well from the Isaan area of Thailand and many are worth the visit alone. (Check our Top 10 Isaan Food). Among our popular orders are deep fried spring rolls (Poh Pia Tod), Kor Moo Yang (Grilled Pork Neck) and Fanfan’s favourite Laab Kai Dao (Spicy Fried Egg Salad) . All menus are translated in English.
Where to find Joom Zap Hut?
Look for the cute, green dragon. Joom Zap Hut is found at many of Bangkok and Thailand’s major malls full list here and shares a joint floor with BarBQ Plaza a tabletop barbecue restaurant. If you find one then you’ve found them both. A meal for two with sides and drinks will in most cases be under 500 Baht. You will find surprisingly few foreigners (generally none) at Joom Zap Hut and Thai Hot Pots.