Rice Porridge (Khao Tom)

By edamame2003
May 14, 2011
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Author Notes: This contest brought back memories of my days as a student living in New York. I would allow myself a budget of $1 a day for food. Sometimes that dollar would go to the hot dog vendor in front of school (that a hot dog was $1 tells you how long ago I lived in NY), other days; a pack of egg noodles, butter, salt and pepper would get me through 3 days. But there was one dish that still today costs under $1 a serving--rice porridge. There are lots of variations of this dish. Plain white rice cooked to a thick paste, eaten with pickled vegetables (congee); crushed grains of rice cooked to a stew-like consistency (jook). This is my family's favorite version--made with ground turkey or pork. I like mine topped with a poached egg. - edamame2003edamame2003

Food52 Review: I call this dish, "a big bowl of comfy and a good excuse to dig out my bottle of fish sauce from the back of the panty." The technique of double-cooking the rice gives it a creamy and rich texture (I was almost convinced that I must have added cream). The fish sauce, while a bit stinky at first whiff, transforms into a secret ingredient that elevates the dish to yum. The egg yolk coats the rice and gives it a wonderfully silky feel, while the green onion and cilantro add just the right finish. This is the first time I've had rice porridge (Khao Tom) and I’m officially a fan. It's a big bowl of comfy that won’t break the bank! - SwoonMySpoonSwoonMySpoon

Serves: 2

  • 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1/4 pound ground turkey or pork
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (more to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 green onion, chopped for garish
  • 1 handful cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Lower to medium heat and cook the ground meat in the water for about 5 minutes, separating the meat into chunks.
  2. Drain the meat from the boiling water and wash the pot. Add the meat and rice to the pot.
  3. Add enough water to just cover the rice by an inch and heat to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes for rice to soften.
  4. While the rice and meat are cooking, add fish sauce to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more for more flavor.
  5. Poach the eggs in the porridge for at least 2 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with pepper, cilantro and chopped green onion.

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