thai rice soup khao tom

Rice soup or khao tom in Thai language is a very common Thai dish for breakfast or late night snack. This also holds true in other Southeast Asia countries and East Asia for porridge/congee.

I remember back in college time when I was in Jakarta, Indonesia for a very short while, we liked to go to places that served late night porridge buffet. Late night! Buffet! wow! They served several different kinds of porridge along with so many other side dishes to accompany it. Awesome ! We did it again with my mom and sis when we were in Singapore. It is a brunch porridge buffet and I always love it, even to this date! such a great memory and porridge is always my comfort food.

What I like about it is the usage of lemon grass and galangal to flavor the whole dish. This set the difference with all the other porridge I’ve made before and I absolutely love it because of that. You can make it more soupy or thicker. I don’t normally like soupy porridge, however for this, I like it at a soupy side because of the lemon grass and galangal, somehow it feels like there’s a hint of tom yum in there :) I love this dish for sure. It makes me feel like I was in Thailand enjoying one of their street foods.

thai rice soup khao tom

What you will need:
Pork balls (makes about 30 small balls)
  • 8 oz ground pork
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
  • Small bunch of the cilantro stems (finely chopped)
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 large egg white (beat until frothy)
Rice soup
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 stalk lemon grass ( bruised to release flavor by smashing with side of cleaver/knife)
  • 1 small slice of galangal
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (you can use white rice if you prefer)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp of fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • Shredded left-over chicken meat (optional)
  • 4 eggs (room temperature before cooking)
  • 1-inch fresh ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2 spring onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves
Serve with:
  • soy sauce
  • 3-4 red chilli (finely chopped
To prepare the day before:
  1. Cook the rice using rice cooker or stove-top according to the instruction on the package. Let it cool and then store in the refrigerator until ready to be used
  2. Prepare the meatballs by placing the pork in a large mixing bowl followed by garlic all the way to fish sauce. Mix with your clean hands and then gradually fold in the beaten egg white and mix again and start picking up the meat and throw it back into the side of the bowl and repeat this for few times. This will make the pork balls rather bouncy. Wet your palms and start rolling the pork into balls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then drop the pork balls in there, batch by batch. They will float to the surface when they are cooked. Check to make sure they are no longer pinkish. If you make this the day before, store in air-tight container in the refrigerator
When ready to cook
  1. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat and cover and let them sit for 15 minutes. Discard water and set aside
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Add in the lemon grass and galangal and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the cooked brown rice and simmer briefly. Adjust taste by seasoning with soy sauce, fish sauce, and white pepper
  3. Discard the lemon grass and galangal pieces. Prepare four serving bowls. Gently crack one egg in the bowl and some shredded chicken meat (if using). Laddle the hot rice soup over each bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onion, and ginger. Serve immediately with a small dish of chilies doused in soy sauce

thai rice soup khao tom

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